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Walter W. K. Bennett '28 



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MEMOIR, 



LETTERS AND JOURNAL, 



ELIZABETH SETON, 

CONVERT TO THE CATHOLIC FAITH, 



SISTER OF CHARITY. 



RIGHT REV. ROBERT SETON, D.D., 

PBOTHONOTABT APOSTOLIC. 



Who shall find a valiant woman ? for, and from the uttermost coasts Is the price of her Prov. xxxl. 10. 



VOLUME II. 



NEW YORK: 

. P. O'SHEA, PUBLISHER, 27 BARCLAY STREET. 

1869. 



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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 18» % 
By P. 0*SHEA, 

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern 
District of New York, 



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CONTENTS. 



Page 

1 808. — Removal to Baltimore 7 

Letter from Elizabeth Seton to Mrs. Scott 1 

Harriet to Elizabeth. 8 

Rev. Mr. Cheverus to Elizabeth 9 

Elizabeth to Cecilia 12, 13 

" Mrs. Scott 13 

Rev. Dr. Dubourg to Elizabeth 14 

Rev. Mr. Cheverus 41 14 

Elizabeth to Cecilia 16 

Lines by Father Babad on Elizabeth's Arrival in Baltimore 19 

Elizabeth to Mrs. Duplex, in Ireland 20 

'« Mrs. Scott 21 

Cecilia to Elizabeth 22, 24, 25 

Postscript from Mr. Sibourd to Elizabeth 28 

Elizabeth to Cecilia 29, 30 

Harriet to Elizabeth 32 

Elizabeth to Cecilia 33 

Harriet to Elizabeth 36, 37 

Anthony Filicchi to Elizabeth 37 

Elizabeth to Mrs. Scott 39 

1809. — Arrival at Baltimore of Cecilia and Harriet Seton. — Elizabeth takes 
Vows. — Removal to Emmitsburg and Foundation of St. Joseph's Com- 
munity. — Conversion of Harriet Seton. — Her Death in the Lord 41 

Cecilia to Elizabeth 41 

Elizabeth to Mrs. Sadler 42 

" Mrs. Duplex 43 

" Mrs. Scott. 46 

Cecilia to Elizabeth 47, 48 

Elizabeth to Cecilia 49 

Cecilia to Elizabeth 60 

Verses by Father Babad to Cecilia. *1 

Elizabeth to Julia Scott 53 



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IV CONTENTS. 

P»ge 

Father Babad to Harriet Seton 55 

Journal of Harriet Seton 56 

Verses by Father Babad to Harriet 57 

Rev. Mr. Sibourd to Elizabeth 59 

Elizabeth to Mrs. Scott 60 

To Cecilia from one of her Brothers 63 

Mr. Ogden to Harriet Seton 64 

Mrs. Ogden to Harriet « 69 

Elizabeth to B 72 

" Julia Scott 74 

1810.— Bounty of Rev. Mr. Cooper.— Death of Cecilia Seton.— Visit of Bishop 

Cheverus 75 

Elizabeth to Mrs. Sadler 76 

Mr. Weise 77 

" Mrs. Sadler 80 

41 Mrs. Scott 81 

Father Babad to Cecilia 83 

Elizabeth to Mrs. Sadler 85 

Anna Seton to Elizabeth. . . » 87 

44 Susan 91 

*' Elizabeth 92 

Elizabeth to Mrs. Sadler 95 

44 Julia Scott 96 

44 Mrs. Duplex 97 

Anna Seton to Elizabeth 99 

a Friend 101 

Elizabeth to Julia Scott 102 

Rev. Mr. Dubois to Elizabeth 104 

Elizabeth to Mrs. Sadler 105 

From a Friend to Elizabeth 107 

1811-1812.— Confirmation of the Rules of the Sisters of Charity.— Illness of 
Anna Seton. — Journal of Elizabeth. — Anna makes her Vows and dies a 
Religious Member of the Community.— Mr. Brute. — On the Mountain. — In 

the Valley.— Death of Sister Maria Murphy 110 

Elizabeth to George Weise 110 

Mrs. Duplex 110 

Mrs. Sadler 112 

Mrs. Scott 113 

Anna Seton to H. and C. Smith 114 

Elizabeth to Mrs. Sadler 117 

Anna Seton to Theresa 117 

44 Elizabeth 119 

Elizabeth to Father Babad 120, 122 

Mrs. Scott 122 

Elizabeth's Journal of Anna's Last Illness and Death 123 



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CONTENTS. V 

Page 

Elizabeth to Mrs. Sadler 134 

Memorandum of Elizabeth's 134 

From Elizabeth's Note-Book 137 

1813. — Rebecca Seton.— Extracts from Elizabeth's Note-Book. — Dear Remem- 
brances 139 

Memorandum of Rebecca's 140 

From Elizabeth's Note-Book 141 

Elizabeth to Mrs. Scott 143 

Rev. Mr. Brute to Elizabeth 144 

From Elizabeth's Note-Book 144 

Thoughts on the Blessed Virgin 146 

Dear Remembrances 148 

1814. — Rebecca Seton. — Extracts from Note-Book. — Detached Pieces. — Sisters 
sent to Philadelphia 159 

Prayer of Consecration by Rebecca and Mary Stanislaus 159 

Elizabeth to her Daughter Rebecca 161 

Rebecca's Thoughts on Anna's Birthday 161 

Rebecca to Mary Stanislaus 162 

Rev. Mr. Brute's Thoughts on the Eve of Corpus Christi 165 

Elizabeth's Reveries, Reflections, Ac 168 

Rev. Mr. Babad to Rebecca 181 

Elizabeth to her Son William 182 

" Mrs. Scott 182 

Father Brute to Elizabeth 183 

Elizabeth to the Junior Class at St. Joseph's 184 

1815. — Letters of Elizabeth, Mr. Brute", William, and Rebecca 185 

Rebecca to Mary Stanislaus 185 

Elizabeth to William 186 

" Anthony Fiiicchi 187 

Rev. Mr. Brute to the Messrs. Fiiicchi 188 

Elizabeth to William 189 

Rebecca Seton to her Brother William 191 

Mr. Preudhomme de Borre to Mr. Brute 192 

Mr. Brute to William 194 

William to Mr. Brute • 196 

Rebecca to William 198 

William to Mr. Brute 198 

Mr. Brute to William 200 

Rebecca Seton to Elizabeth 202 

Elizabeth to Mrs. Scott 204 

" Mrs. Duplex 205 

Rebecca to Mrs. Duplex 206 

1*8 — Letters of Elizabeth, Mr. Bruta, Rebecca. Father Babad, and Mr. Du- 
bois. — Notes and Journals of Rebecca's Last Illness and Death. — Visit of 
Bishop Chevems to St. Joseph's 206 



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Vi CONTENTS. 

Page 

William Seton to his Sister Rebecca 206 

Rebecca to William 208 

Elizabeth to William 208 

" Rev. Mr. Brute 209 

" Mrs. Scott 210 

41 Rebecca '. 211 

Rebecca to William 213 

Elizabeth " 213 

Rebecca " 214 

Rebecca to Father Babad 215 

Mr. Brute" to Rebecca 216, 218 

Elizabeth to Mr. Brute 219 

William 220 

Mr. Brute* •« 220 

Rebecca 11 221 

Mr. Brute* to Rebecca 222 

Father Babad to Rebecca 224 

William to Mr. Brute* 224 

Mr. Brute* to William 226 

Luke Tie man to William 227 

Rev. Mr. Dubois to William 227 

Notes and Journal relating to Rebecca Seton, by Elizabeth 230 

Elizabeth to Mrs. Scott 241 

Rev. Mr. Brute* to William 241 

Elizabeth to Mrs. Duplex 243 

1817-1821. — William Seton returns from Italy. — Sisters sent to New York. — 
William a Midshipman. — Mr. Brute* to a Nephew of Elizabeth. — Letters 

of the Mother and the Son.— The Mother's Death 244 

Elizateth to Mrs. Sadler 244 

" William 245, 248 

William Seton to Elizabeth 249 

" iiis Brother Richard 250 

Biddy to Catharine Seton 251, 253 

Elizabeth to William 258 

William to Elizabeth 259, 260 

Elizabeth to William 261 

William to Elizabeth 263 

Elizabeth to William 265 

Rev. Mr. Brute to L P 267 

Elizabeth to Mr. Brute 270 

" William 272 

William to Elizabeth 273 

Elizabeth to William 274 

William to Elizabeth 276 

Elizabeth to William 277 



CONTENTS. Vii 

Page 

William to Elizabeth 278, 279, 283 

Elizabeth to William 284, 285, 286 

Rev. Mr. Sibourd to Elizabeth 287 

Bishop Cheverua " 289 

Mr. Harper to Rev. Mr. Dubois 289 

Death of Elizabeth 291 

APPENDIX. 

William to Elizabeth 293 

Mr. Brute to William 294 

" Josephine 297-303 

Death of Richard B. Seton 304 

Mr. Brute to William 304 

" Josephine 305, 307 

Mr. Brute' appointed Bishop of Vincennes 309 

Death of William Seton 310 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS 

OP 

ELIZABETH SETON. 



1808. — Letters. — Removal to Baltimore. — Journal. — 

Letters. 

to mrs. scott. 

January 16^, 1808. 
My Darling Julia, — I have met with a very serious 
loss in the death of Mr. James Barry, who I believe I told 
you sought me out with his dear wife, and presented 
themselves, entire strangers, solely for the esteem he had 
had for my husband, which at once opened my whole 
heart to them. And from that hour they have shown me 
and my darlings the most uniform, unwearied affection I 
have ever known. Miss Barry is in a decline, and her 
mother will take her a voyage as soon as the cruel em- 
bargo is raised. Then, adieu to every inducement to go 
to town, independent of St. Peter's. Your Anna's prog- 
ress in music is uncommon for her age, and every new 
lesson she excels in, pictures to me the delight they who 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 



are gone would have had in hearing her. She is very 
neat at her needle and pen, and translates French with 
facility and pleasure. She is fond of occupation, but, 
like her poor mother, is attached to reading and writing 
only. Her health and beauty would delight you; and 
that reserved, quiet manner, the result of natural temper, 
saves her from a thousand difficulties I encountered at her 
age. Yet there never was a more joyous creature when 
she meets her favorite — Aunt Cecilia. 

HARRIET TO ELIZABETH. 

Wilderness, Jan. 27th, 1808. 
My Dearest, Best op Sisters, — To say your little note 
gave me comfort, would be to tell you what you must 
already know too well. I received it at a moment in 
which I wanted something to rouse my drooping spirits. 
I felt very unwell, — had been abed from twelve until past 
six in the evening. It was late before the boy came, and 
I was left to my own reflections longer than I have ever 
been this year. I thought of you, of my B — — ,* of my 
own future destination ; whether He would ever deny me the 
comforts of that dear faith I love so much. At one instant 
I was all hope, in the next all despair. I reflected, like- 
wise, on my present unhappy situation. If I had that 
faith to support me under my trials, I could bear them 
with patience ; nay, even with cheerfulness. It would be 

1 She was engaged to be married, it will be remembered, since 1804. Her family, 
rare beauty, and many accomplishments had mado her an object of much attraction 
in society; but deprived of the guidance of a parent, she had been so imprudent as 

to bestow her affections somewhat inconsiderately. B was at the date of this 

letter in the West Indies. 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



9 



all for Him, and for Him I could suffer all. I expect to 
suffer much, very much before the combat is over. I look 
to that union, my sister, with a sorrowful heart as it 
respects a possible change in my principles. Do you 
think it will, it can ever be so ? Perhaps you know him 
better than I do. 

Dearest brother has just come in. I have not seen him 
since Tuesday morning. The little dears are almost frantic 
with joy, and he quite as much so to see them. He would 
have forgotten the note, had I not said : u What ! no 
letters.'' Say to Cecily I was all astonishment at not see- 
ing her. But it is always so whenever she goes to see 
you ; the fates have ordered it. I have no doubt but it 
will rain or snow until Saturday. 

The children have been very good, and quite as atten- 
tive to their studies as if she were here. They are calling 
me to go to vespers, — 'tis past eight. I shall pray for you 
all with fervency, do so you for me : one good act deserves 
another. 

10 o'clock. 

I have passed a sweet, silent hour at prayer; my 
heart feels light after it. Oh ! were I transformed to be 
near you. Tell Anna she shall have a long note soon. 
Yours, with truest affection. 

FROM MR. CHEVERUS. 1 

Boston, February 3rf, 1808. 
Dear and Respected Madam, — Your esteemed favor of 
January the 12th did not come to hand till last night, 

» It is sent "to the care of the Rev. L. Sibour, rector of St Peter's, New York." 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 



and the stamp of the post-office in New York is of January 
26th. Had I received it sooner, I would have answered 
it immediately. 

Our worthy friend, Mr. Tisserant, was well on the 8th 
of October, date of his last letter, which we received on 
Christmas-eve. We had before received several other 
letters, dated in July, August, and September. In all 
of them he expresses his wish and resolution to return to 
us in the course of the spring ; but although I doubt not 
his sincerity, I entertain but faint hopes of seeing him 
here, unless the United States remain at peace, and the 
war continue in Europe, so as to make his situation in 
England rather unpleasant, and prevent his going to pay a 
visit, as he intended, in case of a general peace, to his 
sisters in Germany. In every one of his letters he speaks 
of you, of his sincere and affectionate respect for you, 
etc., etc. Had I known you had been so long without 
hearing from him, I would certainly have communicated 
sooner the above intelligence, and should I hear something 
more decisive about his return, I will write immediately. 
I have also the pleasure to 1 inform you, that, on the 20th 
of January, I received a letter from our dear Mr. Filicchi, 
dated Leghorn, October the 3d. Since the day it came to 
hand, I have been writing to you, or at least resolving to 
do so, and would certainly have done it in the course of 
this week. Your goodness will forgive the delay, and, to 
obtain my pardon, I copy the words of your amiable and 
worthy friend : 

"Mrs. Seton, under date of the first of July, mentions 
her having received some fresh account of me through 
you At such a distance, and in the uncertainty 

1 The Abbe* Chevems's letters are all in English. 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



11 



of the safety of one's letters, I have been and am very 
backward, indeed, in addressing any of my best friends. 
My last letter to my virtuous friend, Mrs. Seton, at New 
York, was dated in June, and I reproach, almost to no 
purpose, my own inertness." 

I shall write to Mr. Filicchi as soon as there is any 
opportunity, but when this will be I know not. 

Dr. Matignon unites with me in respects to you, and 
compliments and love to your dear children. His health 
is tolerable, although he is often troubled with the rheu- 
matism. I was unwell for some time last autumn, but am 
now in very good health. May the Almighty preserve 
yours till you see all your children grounded in the faith 
and immovable in the hope of the Gospel. To see them and 
you, to rejoice together in our common faith would be a 
heartfelt pleasure for me, but I dare not flatter myself of 
enjoying it very soon. I must forewarn you, however, 
that, whenever you see me, one of the heroes of your 
evening stories will shrink into a little ordinary man. 

As you do not give me any direction, I shall direct 
the present letter to the care of the Rev. Mr. Sibour. I 
rejoice that you find a tender friend and adviser in your 
pastor. Give him my best respects, and those of Dr. 
Matignon. Your letters will be always welcome messen- 
gers, and can never be troublesome. It will be always a 
real satisfaction for me to correspond with you, and to be 
reckoned in the number of your friends. 

Your affectionate and respectful humble servant, 

John Cheverus. 

My compliments to Mr. Morris, if you see him. My 
respectful compliments to your interesting sister. Say 
something about her in your next. 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 



In the month of March Mrs. Seton lost the society of 
her best Catholic friend in New York, the excellent Mrs. 
Barry. It would be sufficient to mention the high idea 
of her Christian virtue which Bishop Carroll entertained, 
and his great friendship for herself and family, to show 
the true worth of this lady. The tender affection that 
Mrs. Seton felt for her and her daughter may have been 
strengthened, in the circumstance of this one's illness, 
and the almost desperate resolve of going on a voyage in 
quest of health, by the recollections of her own feelings, 
that time she also had set out with one she heroically 
loved to seek a milder climate. 

ELIZABETH TO CECILIA. 

March, 1808. 

At eight o'clock this morning at the altar 1 with dear 
Ann and her mother. At ten on board their vessel. 2 Re- 
ceived the last adieus. You, dear, were affectionately 
remembered in them. My heart aches, yet there is a 
heavenly comfort in trusting to Him at such an hour 
above all others. 

How I would love to rest my weary head on your 
dear shoulder, but how much more to kneel with you on 
Sunday. Dear, dear Lord, comfort us. Is there any 

1 For Holy communion. 

1 The " cruel embargo " mentioned in a former letter was not repealed until the 
27th February, 1809 (to take effect from the 4th of March next following); but Mrs. 
Barry probably sailed in a man-of-war, or in some vessel in ballast. 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



13 



thing so dear to us as hope ? Heavenly hope ! Cherish 
it, my darling, it will carry us through triumphant. Do 
you remember the last chapter 1 of the Spiritual Combat ? 
If not let me send it to you. 

Not a word from sweet Harriet, perhaps she is at 
Mary Hoffman's. 

TO THE SAME. 

Friday. 

Please send little Page's things as soon as you can. I 
often imagine you nursing the poor sick girl. It is trouble 
sent by sister, but it will be rewarded by our Jesus — our 
all. Oh ! my darling, is it possible He loves us and 
accepts even our most imperfect actions ! Do you wish 
to have the devotions again ? Mrs. Barry has given me 
hers, and you shall have it as long as you please. My 
heart and soul yearns to see you, dearest. Ever yours. 

TO MRS. SCOTT. 

April 23d, 1808. 

Reverend Mr. Dubourg, the President of St. 

Mary's College, in Baltimore, to whom I communicated 
my anxiety, has offered to give me the formal grant of a 
lot of ground situated close to the college, which is out 
of the town, and in a very healthy situation ; and to pro- 
cure me immediately the charge of half-a-dozen girls, and 
as many more as I can manage. Added to this he will 
take my boys in the college, and the entire charge of 

1 u On the Deceits of the Devil at the hour of our Death," the 66th and last chap- 
ter of this golden book of devotion which St. Francis of Sales thought equal to the 
Imitation of Christ 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 



them for a very small consideration, in order that Mr. 

Filicchi's money may assist me in another way 

Anna is my companion, friend, and diligent assistant. 



St. Mary's College op Baltimore, May 2d, 1808. 

Dear Madam, — I have this moment written at length 
to our worthy Boston friends, to submit to their consider- 
ation the scheme which now engrosses all my thoughts. 
Should they approve of it, I would be for your coming 
hither in two or three months, and taking the lease of a 
newly-built house which, in every point of view, would 
perfectly suit all our ideas, at least during the first year, 
which would give you sufficient time to reflect and con- 
sult on the propriety of building, and on the most eligible 
spot and plan. & 

Our two dear little girls 1 impatiently wait for you; 
but now, assuredly more than ever. 

Tharent would be about $250 per annum. 

Your most respectful, devoted, and hurried friend, 

Wm. Dubourg. 

Please give my tenderest respects to the Rev. Messrs. 
Sibourd and Byrne, and to the Alomys (?) family. 



Boston, May Ylth, 1808. 
Dear Madam, — The Rev. Dr. Dubourg, in a letter to 
the Rev. Mr. Matignon, of the 2d instant, says he has 



from rev. dr. dubourg. 



FROM REV. MR. CHEVERUS. 



1 His nieces. 





i 



ELIZABETO SETON. 15 

had the pleasure of seeing you and conversing with you 
on the project of an establishment in Baltimore. Dr. 
Matignon and I agree on all points with him and the Rev. 
Mr. Sibourd. Such an establishment would be a public 
benefit to religion, and, we hope, a real advantage to your- 
self and amiable family. We infinitely prefer it to your 
project of a retreat in Montreal. 

Mr. Dubourg writes that Mr. Filicchi has authorized 
you to draw on his correspondent in New York for any 
sum necessary to begin a useful establishment, and this 
same worthy friend wrote to me on the same subject these 
very words : Money shall not be ivanting 

I have not received any letters from him (Mr. An- 
thony Filicchi) since the one I mentioned in my last to 
you, but I have heard by a gentleman who left Leghorn 
seventy days ago, that he and his family were well. The 
last letters from our dear Mr. Tisserant were dated the 
25th of December and the 1st of January. He was well, 
full of projects for his return, but uncertain when he could 
put them in execution. 

Dr. Matignon desires his respects, and I unite with 
hiin in begging to be remembered to your dear children 
and sister. We present our respects to the Rev. Mr. 
Sibourd and other clergymen of the church. 1 Remember 
us in your prayers, and believe me, with the most sincere 
respect and esteem, dear madam, your most obedient, 
humble servant, 

John Cheverus. 

This letter from her enlightened friend, and the 
earnest solicitations of Dr. Dubourg, determined Mrs. 

1 In New York. 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 



Seton to mate the change from New York, where her 
existence was miserable, and no way of improving it, to 
hospitable Baltimore, which was then as now the central 
point of Catholicity in the United States. She was 
assured of the sympathy there of all Catholic hearts, and 
of the material assistance of the Rev. President of St. 
Mary's, in an undertaking such as she was prompted to 
try. Her good friend at Philadelphia, Mrs. Scott, had 
asked her as soon as she heard of the proposed removal, 
to pass through that city on her way to Baltimore, and 
rest herself and children in her house, besides making, 
in the same amiable and delicate manner as before, gen- 
erous offers of pecuniary aid. 

She left New York with her three daughters in one 
of the Baltimore packets on the 9th of June. 

TO CECILIA SETON. 

Thursday, 9tk June, 1808. 
My own Cecily would scarcely believe that we are 
only now passing the light-house thirty miles from New 
York. All the fatigue and weariness of mind and body 
are passed — the firmament of heaven so bright ; the cheer- 
ing sea-breeze and merry sailors would drive care away 
indeed, had I the company of the Jive dearest beings who 
bade adieu in the little room. Every one is so kind ! A 
very mild-looking, modest young man came down before 
we had been half an hour on board, and said : " Madam, 
my name is James Cork, 1 call on me at all times; I 

1 He was the mate. 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



17 



will help you in every thing." And so it is. Oh ! sweet 
mercy ! how kindly you are mixed in every cup. How 
soothing to look up and think of it all. Again and again 
this poor heart is offered in every way He will make use 
of it. How small a tribute for the daily debt! My 
Cecily dear, dear friend of my soul ! 

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are passed, my dear 
one, with many a prayer, many a sigh. We are rocking 
and rolling without getting on. Ann is suffering ; she is 
very low spirited, and refuses to go on deck. The ladies 
on board, Mrs. Smith and her daughter, so good to us ! 
I said vespers during a storm ; very fervently you may 
be sure. This morning we are again in sight of land and 
near Cape Henry 

> 

Tuesday. — Here we are flying up the Chesapeake : a 
fairer wind and lighter hearts never went through it, I 
believe. The sun is setting gloriously : are you looking 
at it ? My soul flies up with the Miserere ; 1 it is wrapt 
in yours, and for our own Harriet it sends the sigh. To- 
morrow do I go among strangers ? No ! Has fear or an 
anxious thought passed my mind ? No ! Can I be disap- 
pointed ? No ! There can be no disappointment where 
the soul's only desire and expectation is to meet His 
adored will and fulfill it. 

Wednesday Evening. — Once more good night, sweet 
love, aboard the Grand Sachem, not yet in Baltimore Bay. 
Hope is on the wing, expecting to-morrow morning. What 

1 She had long been in the pious custom of saying the 50th Psalm at sundown. 
vol. n.— 2 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 



are you doing? Happy child whom God employs ! How 
contrasted to the giddy round of beings who play away 
their happiness both present and eternal. 

Thursday Morning. — Corpus Christi. My dear, all 
I can tell you is, a carriage conveyed us to the seminary. 
The organ's solemn peal, then the burst of the choir. 
This is the moment of consecration of Mr. Dubourg's 
chapel. We entered without a word ; prostrate in an in- 
stant. Human nature could scarcely bear it. Your im- 
agination can never conceive the splendor — the glory of 
the scene. After mass I was in the arms of Mr. Dubourg's 
sister; surrounded by so many caresses and blessings. 
My wonder is how I got through it all. The feelings were 
lost with delight. 

Friday Evening. — Received our all. Oh ! how fer- 
vently ! So much all combined turns my brain. Masses 
from daylight to eight. My dwelling, the most complete, 
almost adjoining the chapel. Vespers and benediction 
every evening. Every heart caressing us ; the look of 
love and peace on every countenance. Hush ! oh my soul. 
Cecily, Cecily, that soul cries out for you. It can not do 
without you. It must claim you in life and in death. 
There is a little mount behind the chapel called Calvary, — 
olive-trees (?) and a cross. At the foot of it are four 
graves. " There is your rest," said Mr. Dubourg, as we 
passed it this morning. It must be yours too, my lovely, 
dear sister. 

On her arrival at Baltimore, Mrs. Seton and her 
daughters were received by the hospitable Mr. Dubourg 



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ELIZABETH 8 ETON". 



19 



and his sister's family with that open-hearted courtesy 
that distinguishes educated French people. Every thing 
that refinement could suggest was placed at her disposal, 
and she found among her new friends not only religious 
sympathy, but also many of those little comforts of life 
that the French know so ingeniously to create, in the 
midst even of people whose manners and ways of living 
are different from their own. 

The following was written by Father Babade, and 
spoken by Mr. Dubourg's niece on the Thursday evening 
of Mrs. Seton's arrival in Baltimore: — 

COMPLIMENT DAGLAE DUBOURO AUX DEMOISELLES 8ETOK A LETJB ABBIYEB A 
BALTIMORE, ET CONTRACT DAMITTE ENFANTDT. 

0 vous si longtemps attendues 
Recevoz nos embrassemens ; 
Nos deux families confondues 
Ne foot plus qu'une en sentimens. 

Votre Mere sera ma Mere. 

Aglae* sera votre soeur ; 

Nous n'aurons plus qu'un mdme pere 

Nous n'auronS plus qu'un m6me coeur. 

Bientot dans un merae langage 
Nous aurons un nouveau lien ; 
Celui du coeur a l'avantage 
Qn'on Feutend toujours assez Men. 

De vos plaisirs et de voa peines 
Je vous demande une moitie* ; 
Vous aurez anssi part aux miennes ; 
Tout est commun dans Tamitie^ 

On plutAt ces mots tout de glace, 
Le mien, le tien ne doivent plus. 
S'entendre id, ni trouver place 
Dans oet asile des vertns. 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 



Suivant la remarque d'un sage 
Ce8 mots si froids de mien, de ten, 
Furent bannis au premier Age 
Du vocabulaire chrdtien. 

Le mot ndtre a bien plus de grace 
H ne fit jamais de jaloux. 
Mien et tien il faut qu'il remplaee ; 
Tout sera ndlre parmis nous. 

Je ne dirai plus ; Mes poupees, 
Mes joujoux, mes fleurs, mon jardin,— 
Tout est a vous, soeurs bien aim^es, 
Tout sera n6tre des domain. 

Communaute d&icieuse ! 
Obarme jadis de l'&ge d'or ! 
Reviens d'une famille heureuse 
Paire le plus riche tresor. 



ELIZABETH TO MRS. DUPLEX, IN IRELAND. 

Baltimore, 20th June, 1808. 
You will be much surprised, dearest, to hear that we 
are no longer in New York. We removed to Baltimore the 
middle of June, and I find the difference of situation so 
great that I can scarcely believe it is the same existence. 
All these dear attentions of human life which I was entirely 
weaned from, are now my daily portion from the family of 
Mr. Dubourg whose sister and mother are unwearied in 
their care of us. We are treated as apart of their family, 
and in every respect my condition is that of a new being. 
The fence of our boundary is the only division from a 
beautiful chapel which is open from daylight till nine at 
night. My prospect of an establishment I leave to God ' 
Almighty. The two nieces of Mr. Dubourg are all I have ; 
but after the summer vacation, when the inhabitants re- 
turn, the prospect will be better 



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ELIZABETH 8ET0N. 



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We are away from all to whom we are allied by natural 
affection, aliens to our nearest connections and seeking 
bread among strangers — in one sense of the word, but not 
strangers in kindness or love. Madame Fournier, the sister 
of our Superior, assists me in all the little cares for my 
children. There is also a branch of the Barry family here, 
who are as kind to us as was our dear Mrs. Barry in New 
York. Mrs. Barry and her husband omit nothing that 
generosity or kindness can dictate, and I do not fear that 
they will be wearied in their attentions, because I know 
the principle on which they act. You would be pleased 
to see our good old Bishop Carroll when he is in the midst 
of us — of all his children as he calls us. 

Anna is the admiration of every one, more for her dis- 
cretion and propriety of behavior than even for her beauty. 
Rebecca is not so handsome, but is so full of expression 
you would not wish her to be lovelier. My sweet Cecilia 
is still in New York. Her being with us, you may be 
sure, is the first wish of our hearts ; but James Seton was 
so positive on the necessity of her staying with him till 
his family is settled, that she could not properly insist; 
but I shall have a great deal more care and occupation 

until she come. She writes me that B is expected 

next month ; poor Harriet is truly unhappy. 

TO MRS. SCOTT. 

Baltimore, 4th of July, 1808. 
After our arrival here I went immediately to Wash- 
ington for my boys, and having my family to settle, house 
to arrange, etc., and such heat to support as was almost 
insupportable, it has really been very difficult to write 



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22 MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 

even a line. You would scarcely believe the change I 
experience in my manner of life since I am in my new 
home. After so long a period of trouble and confusion, 
to lead a life of regularity and comparative repose, accus- 
tomed to find recreation and amusement only in books, 
and considering every visitor a thief upon my few precious 
moments, and almost an intruder; my poor heart was 
wrapt up in its own solicitudes. But such is the contrast 
of my present situation, I scarcely dare think of it. We 
were received by each of the reverend gentlemen of the 
seminary as their adopted charge. Mr. Dubourg's sister 
is a most amiable, affectionate character. She arranges 
my affairs for me with an ease and gayety of manner, as 
if the favor were all on my side. I have the advantage 
of procuring every thing I use from the seminary, which, 
as they engage by the gross, makes a difference of at least 
a third less expense on every article. My boys are finally 
received in the college without the least expense, by the 
voluntary offering of these kind beings, who are the pro- 
fessors. Mr. Robert Barry, the consul for Portugal, with 
his amiable wife, are unceasing in their kindness. The 
children are in a dream of delight at being once more 
united and so much cared for, but it is all a novelty, and 
consequently bears its best appearance; it is liable to 
change. However, I shall not be disappointed. 

CECILIA TO ELIZABETH. 

New York, June 28*A, 1808, 9 o'clock. 

It is late, my beloved sister, for an invalid 

to be writing ; but, strange infatuation ! when I once com- 
mence writing to you, I know not how to stop, and have 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



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so much to say, I know not where to begin. Will my 
love for you be ever the same? Will its fervor never 
abate ? Heaven forbid it should be other than it is. Our 
ties are too closely united with our love for Him. Is it 
not so? Give me a description of the chapel and the 
many altars, in place of our solitary one — but that one, 
how sweet ! There have we mingled our tears, and there 
together we have poured forth our souls to Jesus. Can 
we ever forget those hours? Never, never, never. I 
participate in your joy at seeing your dear boys. How 
poor mother's heart must have felt at the first sight! 
They are grown, I suppose, very much; tell them to think 
sometimes of Aunt Cecily. I believe the Rev. Mr. Hurley 
has left you before this — may I expect a letter ? Perhaps 
he is afraid to leave me here. Some parts of the family 
have great hopes of bringing the " stray sheep " back to 
the fold, now the principal obstacle (as they imagine) is 
removed. Are you fearful of me, my sister ? Or does it 
make you laugh? Pray for me that my faith may be 
strengthened. I am not wavering, but it does not do to be 
too confident. Be my guide and counselor. Dear remem- 
brance to Mr. Dubourg. Ask him to remember me in the 
Blessed Sacrifice, I greatly need his prayers. Kiss and 
bless my darlings for me. Tell Anna to write me a line. 
I know not how to leave you, yet I must. Dearest, best 
of sisters, when shall we meet again ? He only knows. 
Your own in life and death. 

Cecilia. 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 



TO THE SAME. 

Barclay Street, July Gth, 1808. 
Dear Beloved Sis, — Will you believe it ? I am once 
more in town, seated in Mr. Sibourd's room. I can not 
tell you how thankful I am of being once more able to 
renew the delightful employment of writing to you. Mr. 
S. has just shown me your letters. My heart jumped at 
the idea of being with you, but the sacrifice must be com- 
plete. Every day do I make the silent offering. It can 
not be ; my friend advises me to stay, as circumstances are 
at present. Do you fear I shall not be able to go through 
all? But He will give strength equal to the burden. Is 
it not so, my darling ? Can He leave a soul that clings to 
Him as mine does? Never! Our dear Harriet is in trouble. 
She is now at Charlotte's, 2 where they wish her to make 
a promise of never joining our church, which she positively 
refuses. My soul feels light, and flies up to Him when I 
think how happy I am to bear something for Him who 
bore so much for me. My sister, dear, dear sister, remem- 
ber I am yours. I can not help cherishing the idea that 
something may yet arrive to unite us. Kiss my pets. 
Best remembrance to Mr. Dubourg. Tour own. 

The Abb6 Sibourd, in his letter 3 to Dr. Dubourg 
inclosing the above, says of VangSlique CSoile (for so he 
calls her) : " Let us leave to time and Providence the 
task of deciding which among the many plans of bringing 
the two so tenderly to one Another affectioned fri^ds 

1 Under cover of one from Father Sibourd to Dr. Dubourg. 
1 Mrs. Ogden. * In French. 

i 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



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together, should be adopted. If it please Heaven that 
they should not be separated, nothing, you know, on 
earth can hinder that they live united." 

TO THE SAME. 

Friday, July 7th, 1808. 
I received your letter, my sister, just as I was leading 
the darlings 1 to prayers. My heart was too full. I dared 
not open it until I renewed my promises to heave no sigh, 
or feel any anxious thoughts, about being with you. 
What a description of your happiness ! Well may you 
wish me with you. The tears flowed fast. I did not stop 
them, for they were not tears of regret for sister, or impa- 
tience to be with her ; but of a soul wholly resigned to her 
God, — desiring only His will, and even feeling happy at 
being permitted to make so great a sacrifice. When I 
wrote you, there was every reason for me to suppose I should 
soon join you. I thought when had once been ex- 
plicit with her grandmother, that my situation would 
forthwith be decided. But it seems not. All that has 

passed is unknown to . As it respects myself, their 

cold, mysterious manner to me, certainly denotes some- 
thing. I anxiously wait the result. 

Saturday, $th. 
Oh ! my sister, what a world of sin ! — angry words 
and cross looks are all I meet with. But how sweet it is 
to feel that we suffer with and for Jesus. — My soul truly 
rejoices. The cup is at first bitter ; but in it there is an 

1 Her little nieoea. 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 



unknown delight for those that love. Dear, dearest 
sister, if I were with you I should not have these tears, — 
these many offerings to make. I fpar my scales would 
then be very light 

Thursday, 2\st. 
Is it possible, my precious sister, so long a time has 
passed since I wrote one line ; I trust you have not been 
uneasy. Nothing but sickness could have prevented me. 
I have been staying a week at Westchester to regain my 
strength, and am once more well and back at the Wilder- 
ness. But once at communion since your departure. I 
think of your happiness and heave the sigh upwards. 
Every means has been tried to get me with you, but none 
will succeed, and I think my situation is now determined 
for the summer. I look to God to carry me through it. 
I saw your friend, Mr. Cooper, on Sunday, he is very 
silent and retired. Mr. Sibourd is so good and so kind to 
me — consoles me every way. My fear has left me, and I 
can now open my heart to him without trembling, which 
is my greatest earthly happiness. 

Friday, 22d. 

It would be impossible to tell you all I have suffered 

this day. Mrs. H n has been here, the abominations 

of my religion was all her conversation. Is it not hard to 
have to hear what we hold dear and sacred abused ? She 
says I will bring her to the grave, and that I must leave 
the children. She refuses entering the house while I am 
in it. In such a situation, my sister, what am I to do ? I 
have used every argument with brother to permit me to 
leave it. He will not hear of it, and I must submit. I at 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



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least try to make him happy by appearing cheerful^ but in 
appearance, indeed, for there are hours when I can not 
conceal my. feelings. Daily and hourly pray for your 
Cecilia. Were there not an all-wise Creator to direct, and 
a Jesus to recompense for our pains, I know not what I 
should think of my situation. Oh, my sister ! if I could 
only get out of New York, I would go anywhere, and be 
the most menial servant. 

Thursday, 2%th. 
I must add a few more lines, my soul's sister, if it is 
only to say how truly I love you. No one can ever know 
our love that has ncyt known its source. Our day of deliv- 
erance will come, that we may rejoice together. Our 
dear Harriet spent yesterday with me. Farewell, my 
beloved sister, keep my little room in readiness. " He 
will deliver." Kiss all my pets for me. Love and pray 
for your own — she is truly your own — Theresa. 1 Write 
me how dear Mr. Dubourg is, if he is yet well. 

Wednesday, August 3d. 
Precious, dear sister, I could not let Mr. Cooper depart 
without a line from your Cecily. The grain of sand is 
heavy, but I make out to get it up hill. It would be easy 
enough with sister's assistance. My soul is with you, 
but still I am contented and resigned, notwithstanding 
Baltimore is the uppermost wish of my heart. Tour 
letter, when it comes, will be a precious one. I have been 
so long expecting it, yet, in reality, it is not so long since 
the last. Mr. Sibourd leaves for the Springs on Saturday. 

1 Confirmation name. She frequently signs with it 



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28 MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 

I received my all 1 this morning. Was it not sweet? almost 
too much for a mortal to bear. Yet what would we do 
without it? My heart is so full, the tears ^jtart at every 
line. My sister, my friend ! when shall I see you, when 
shall we go together to the dear altar? Will it ever be ? 
That thought must not enter. To an Almighty Provi- 
dence I trust all. I am in His hands, and I am under 
good direction. Remember me to your Rev. friends. 
Farewell, beloved, your own, 

Theresa. 

postscript from mr. sibourd. 

Aug. 4:tk. 

I have permission to join in the sisterly correspondence, 
and I shall not let this letter go to the post-office without 
a few lines of my handwriting. Though it was intended 
for Mr. Cooper, who left town last night, I thought it 
more proper to dispatch it by mail. I am to embark the 
day after to-morrow on the steamboat, and do not expect 
to be back before the middle of September. My earnest 
wish was for withdrawing from the rectorship of New 
York, but heavenly injunctions seem to be against man's 
determination. I must submit to my case, hard as it is. 
I trust in God's assistance, who alone can make it light. 
I can not express how much I feel for my child in Christ, 
and admire her Christian fortitude. How invincible are 
those who have God's support on their side ? She would 
be too happy with you, but her happiness will be the 
greater when the stress of weather drives her to you. 
God only knows when this will be the case. Be pleased 

1 Holy communion. 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



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to remember me to the Rev. gentlemen in the seminary 
and college, chiefly to the president. Your boys and girls 
are constantly present in my prayers, in yours think of 
your respectful servant, L. Sebourd. 

TO CECILIA. 

Friday, 12th August, 1808. 

Sister writes with an overflowing heart. It is St. 
Clare's day. What did she not suffer in opposing the 
world? How tender and faithful was the love of her 
Agnes who followed her. Shall we one day be so happy, 
my dear one ? He only knows who holds us in His hand j 
but this we know, that " sorrow is not immortal," nor can 
" we suffer long whether severed or united. The Angelus 
bell rings morning, noon, and night : at half-past five in 
the morning precisely, a quarter before two in the day, 
and a quarter before eight at night. Meet your own 
soul's sister in the angelic salutation. I say it with par- 
ticular attention, and always on the knees, because there 
is an especial indulgence attached to it, which indulgence 
and every other I can gain I offer to God, after the exam- 
ple of Rev. Mr. Dubourg, for the departed. 

My dearest child, you must not think sister neglects 
you. I have so little time and so much writing to do. 
When I write a letter, some of my prayers must always 
be given up ; many a visit to the blessed sacrament is 

resigned for this purpose. Tell my dear Mrs. she 

must take your letters as written to herself. Do you 
never see dearest Harriet? Oh! sorrow, sorrow; and 
Eliza, too, is banished ! We are monsters indeed. But I 
would not change one of my half-hours with the good folks 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 



here for their whole life put together. Oh ! Cissy dear, if 
they had one substitute for all riches and pleasures. 

If you will prepare a hundred letters, they can all be 
brought to me by Mr. Redmond from Georgetown College, 
who will call for them before the 15th of next month. I 
give you all a long time for writing. 

TO THE SAME. 

Baltimore, bth September, 1808. 
Sweet Cis, — I am almost afraid you are ill, it is so 
long since your last. I inclose you, now, a little letter 
for Harriet. Oh ! do tell me every thing about her. All 
the people there are very silent ; but to live forgotten and 
unloved is a part of Christian perfection. And what is all 
the world to you and me ? We are in the secret of HQs 
tabernacle, and there alone is safety, true liberty, and 
content. If I were to write you a thousand sheets, I 
could never tell the love of the heart that doats on you, 
and never loved you as at the moment I read the sweet 
words " my mother," added to the many precious titles 
which unite us. Yes ! in life and death we will be united 
to our Jesus; and I shall be your mother, sister, friend, 
and you my darling of darlings. And so Harriet was 
really permitted to see you ! Thank Him for all that 
I concluded that, from her delicate position, she would 
have had to forego a pleasure so dear to her. But not 
one word of our dear Eliza ! Oh 1 how I long to see you 
all. What delight, dearest child, I yet anticipate in our 
reunion 1 Every thing you wish to know of me is said in 
few words. In the chapel at six until eight, school at 
nine, dine at one, school again at three, chapel at half-past 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



31 



six, examination of conscience and rosary. Sometimes 
before that hour a visit to some one in our limits, or a 
walk ; and so goes day after day. But I should rather 
say, where are you my love ? I fear your sufferings are 
proportioned to my ease. Oh ! Cecily dearest, why can 
not I exchange with you ? In an instant I would take your 
stormy station, were it His will, to give you even a taste 
of my spiritual enjoyments. But how soon may they pass, 
at least in their form, though in principle we know they 
are unalterable. Poor Cecily ! so you were but once at 
church the whole time of Father Redmond's visit to New 
York. Oh ! oh ! he was sorely disappointed at not seeing 
you, but he remembers you in the great sacrifice. The 
prayer at the end of your Georgetown prayer-book will 
explain the Agnus Dei 1 he left you. Ann and Agla6 
always wear one around the neck with great devotion. 

A young gentleman of St. Mary's College promised me 
faithfully to call on Mr. Byrne for your commands before 
the last of this month. 

1 The Agnus Dei (literally " Lamb of God n ) is a small piece of pure wax, bear- 
ing the impress of a lamb supporting the standard of the cross, which, encased in 
precious metal, or in some rich stuff, is worn devoutly about the neck, or suspended 
in a glass frame from the wall. 

The remote origin of this celebrated devotion may be sought in the morsels of 
the Paschal candle blessed the preceding year, which were distributed to the faith- 
ful on Sunday in AJbis. In this form the Agnus Dei is traced back to the fourth 
century ; but as it now exists, medallion-shaped, and imprinted with the lamb, it 
dates from the sixth century, the earliest instance on record being one sent by 
Pope Gregory the Great to Theodolinda, Queen of the Lombards. — Martigny, Did. 
dcs Antiquites ChrtHennes, Art. Agnus Dei. 

At the present day the confection of these waxen images is a privilege of the 
Cistercians, and their benediction reserved to the Sovereign Pontiff. 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 



HARRIET TO ELIZABETH. 



Green-Hill, Aug. 12th, 1808. 



My Sister, — Exquisite, indeed, would be my happi- 
ness, if permitted to rest my head on that dear shoulder, 
to utter unreserved every thought and express every sen- 
timent of a heart that feels for you an attachment no 
language can define. I yet hope the day may come when 
I can fly to your arras and find a shelter from every sor- 
row. Of B 's coming I know not what to say. Sep- 
tember is soon here ; but I fear it will not bring him. So 
it is, my dear Sis, I am always disappointed. Perhaps it 
may be another year or two before the meeting — God only 
knows. When I think of the many trials yet to come, I 
shudder, but resign my fate with perfect confidence in His 
Divine Providence, and offer Him all my anxieties and 
sorrows. Let what will come, I have no doubt it will be 
for our mutual advantage. To you, my sister, I pwe 
more than I can express, for instilling principles that will 
make the rugged path of life smooth and easy ; from you 
I have received a treasure that can not fail to make me 
happy even in adversity. 



A few lines from B , which I have just finished 

reading, have, as I had been hourly expecting, destroyed 
every hope of his arrival. How I should like to take a 
peep into the book of fate to know what leaf would be 
next turned over! Some propitious breeze may, per- 
chance, blow it aside and disclose a few happy days to 
come. " Poor Harriet ! " you will exclaim, " sister pities 



Tuesday, 




ELIZABETH SET0N. 



33 



you and well she may. Dear Cecily sat an hour with 
me this morning: our thoughts involuntarily turned to 
our dear absent friend. You may be sure I had, as usual, 
a number of questions to ask. I am to pass Wednesday 
with her. What a precious creature she is ! To be sepa- 
rated from her would be more than I could support. 
When I behold her in such a trying situation, so young, 
yet so perfect, I am astonished. My heart, indeed, bleeds 
for her ; and I should be miserable did I not know she 
possesses that peace which passeth all understanding. We 
very often picture you in the little chapel, and admitted 
in spirit we almost forget we are separated. 

Pray, without ceasing, my Sis, the scene may change. 
Wheii you write, always inclose to Cecily for peace's 
sake. Embrace my precious darlings with tenderness for 
me, and never let them forget me in their prayers. By 
you I am certain of being remembered. Farewell, my 
dear sister. Tour's eternallv, 

H. Seton. 

ELIZABETH TO CECILIA. 

Baltimore, 6th October, 1808. 
My Dearest, Most Precious Child, — Sisters joy is but 
an anticipation of yours when you will hear that the best, 
most excellent assistants to dear Mr. Sibourd who could be 
obtained, are on their way to our poor, desolate congrega- 
tion at New York. I can not speak my joy, as it will so 
much glorify the Divine Name. Your precious letter with 
the lovely profile are come safe to hand. All the girls, my 
Agla£ and Celanine 1 among the rest, are wild to see their 

1 Rev. Dr. Dubourg's nieoea. 

VOL. 1L — 3 



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Aunt Cecilia. Aglae is the fairest, most perfect child you 
can imagine ; diligent and faithful in every duty, always 
remembering our dear Lord's eye is upon her. What 
would we ask in this world if Cecily and Harriet of the 
Wilderness were with us ? In my dear, sacred commu- 
nions, which are almost every day, often my soul cries 
out so much for you all, that it seems impossible to express 
the desire in any words. A deluge of tears is the only 
relief. Yes ! every morning in the week at communion, 
except some particular circumstance prevents ; living in 
the very wounds of our dearest Lord. What more shall 
I say ? The children sing Adoramus all day long ; after 
morning school our Litany of Jesus, when afternoon class 
is over, our Rosary. What more should I ask in this 
w r orld but Cecily and Harriet? But it is expected I shall 
be the mother of many daughters. A letter received from 
Philadelphia, where the Rev. Dr. Dubourg is now on a 
visit, tells me he has found two of the sweetest young 
w r omen who were going to Spain to seek a refuge from the 
world, though they are both Americans, Cecilia and Mary, 
and now wait until my house is open for them. Next 
spring we hope. He applies to me the psalm in our ves- 
pers : " The barren woman shall be the joyful mother of 
children," and says : " I promise you and wish you many 
crosses, which it will be my delight to bear with you, my 
daughter ; but they will brighten our crown, and glorify 
His name whose glory is our only desire." 

I have a lovely picture of Saint Mary Magdalen de' 
Pazzi, who is kneeling in her religious habit before a 
crucifix standing upon a little altar, on which is written 
her motto, Ne point mourir mats souffrir, but I dare not 
send it you for fear of trouble. But you shall have your 



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ELIZABETH 8 ETON. 



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own little crucifixion 1 framed. Oh, Cecily, my soul's 
treasure, let us beg our Lord to hasten the time of our 

reunion Having other letters to write, I can only 

recommend you to show, as you have ever done, whose 
child you are, by your patience and resignation. 

It will be seen by the above that the Rev. Dr. Dubourg 
was prudently leading Mrs. Seton on, with the help of 
God, to a more useful, and to herself more perfect life, in 
the foundation of a religious community. In her own 
letters will best of all, not, indeed, in detail, but still 
sufficiently, be traced out the commencement and success 
of a work which has been so fruitful of good to the 
church in the United States. In a letter to her friend 
Julia Scott, written in October, she playfully hints at a 
possible change of life, where she says : " I determined 
that nothing should prevent my asking you before night 
the question, whether you thought any longer of your 
poor little nun ? " In the same month her sister, Mrs. 
Post, writes a terribly long letter from New York, all to 
express her surprise, "that she can contemplate any 
change that must necessitate separation from her chil- 
dren." As to separating herself from her children, so 
long as they stood in need of maternal care, Mrs. Seton 
had no such intention, nor would she in any case have 
been allowed to do so by her ecclesiastical superior, 
because the church teaches her children to perform first 

1 This is an exquisite aqua fbrti engraving of Rembrandt's Crucifixion, by the 
celebrated K. £. 0. Hess. It was brought from Holland by my grandfather Seton. 



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the natural obligations of their position, and then to pro- 
ceed to works of perfection. But Protestants are pro 
foundly ignorant on questions of Catholic practice as well 
as belief. 

A few months later a young non-Catholic relative, 
Maiy Wilkes, with more common sense and less bigotry 
than most outsiders, writing from New York to learn 
somewhat of the new foundation, says : " The Sisters of 
Charity ! I am anxious to hear the particulars of this 
institution. Various are the accounts of it here, and I 
am convinced they are all founded on ignorance." 

HARRIET TO ELIZABETH. 

November, 1808. 
Whenever I can catch the little moment to give you 
pleasure, I count it a year of happiness to myself. Four 

months, and not one single line from B . 'Tis strange. 

They bluntly tell me at he never will return. Is it 

not cruel to torture my mind by such observations ? My 
heart feels a thousand pangs that are indescribable. I wish 
more ardently than ever to be with you, if it were only for 
ten minutes, to explain to you several little circumstances, 
and ask your advice as it respects conduct. I would not 
dare do it by letter, fearful of accidents. This winter I 
am determined to enter no society whatever. My mind 
is not in a state to enjoy it. I trust soon to spend a little 
time with my precious Cecily. 



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ELIZABETH 8 ETON. 



37 



FROM THE SAME. 

Wilderness, Not). 29th, 1808. 

I promised, my dear sister, in my last letter, that I 
would write again when at the Wilderness, at last I am 
here, close by my Cecily. It is here alone that my poor 
heart feels some little cessation of pain and sorrow. What 
anguish, the most acute could not be hushed in her dear 
society ? Her presence actually works like a charm upon 
my mind. Oh, my dearest Sis, how sweetly we could 
pass the winter together, thinking, speaking of, and writing 
to you ! The world would be forgotten with all its vanity, 
and we would lose ourselves in thoughts of heaven. Let 
me share a portion of your thoughts the 29th of December. 

For many years back I have been accustomed to receive 
from you some rules of conduct for the new year — some 
little affectionate letter of advice and comfort blended. 
I now stand more in need of this than ever, and shall sigh 
for the day that brings me, if only one line, to say I was 
remembered at the foot of the cross. 

ANTHONY FILICCHI TO MRS. SETON. 

Leghorn, Nov. 30^, 1808. 
Tour two letters, dated Baltimore, July and 20th Aug., 
1808, are before me. I am extremely pleased in seeing 
you out of New York, among true Christians, surrounded 
by all your children, and under the holy direction of such 
worthy persons as those you mention. To promote the 
establishment so much approved of by my Cheverus and 
Matignon, you will please to draw on our friends, J. Mur- 



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MEMOIR ANI> LETTERS OF 



ray & Sons, of New York, one thousand dollars, charging 
the same to the aecountin the world to come of my brother 
Philip and of Anthony. 

My wife and children are in perfect health. Be sure 
that none of the Filicchis has forgotten or will ever forget 
Mrs. Seton. Pray only for us, and particularly for good 
Philip's health, which appears to be much impaired since 
my return from America. He is actually at Pisa, where, 
as in a milder climate, he proposes to pass the winter sea- 
son. He has received your letter and will answer it. 
Abbe Plunket is very well ; but Doctor Tutilli is no more 
since April last. We must all go one after the other. 
Blessed those who, by their faith and good works on earth, 
are entitled to look at that last hour as to the beginning 
of a new life. 

I was last summer in expectation, from week to week, 
of addressing you a long letter by the newly elected Bish- 
op of New York, Monsignor Concanen, a learned Irish Do- 
minican friar from Rome, of a truly venerable sweet aspect 
and manners ; but the American vessel on which he ex- 
pected to take his passage was prevented from putting to 
sea, and he was obliged to return to Rome until God's will 
would furnish him with some other opportunity in the 
next spring for his going to take charge of his flock. He 
will bring along with him the necessary bulls, etc., for 
the consecration of our Cheverus as Bishop of Boston, of 
Reverend Egan as Bishop of Philadelphia, of Reverend 
Flaget as Bishop of Bardstown, and of Bishop Carroll as 
Archbishop of Baltimore. 1 When you write to our ad- 

1 Pope Pius Vllth erected these four bishoprics on the 8th of April, 1808, by 
a bull given from Saint Mary Major's, and at the same time and place Baltimore was 
made an archbishopric with the new creations for suffragan sees. Bishop Concanen 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



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mired Cheverus, pray remember me to him. Though lazy 
in writing (particularly at such a distance, and at a time 
of so much provoking uncertainty for the safety of one's 
letters), my American friends, you and he above all, are 
and will ever be deepest stamped on my mind and heart. 

Believe me, most sincerely, and daily more your 
friend, 

Anthony Filicchi. 

Writing again to Mrs. Seton, about the same date, 
he says : " The inclosed letter to Bishop Carroll is from 
Bishop Concanen. Be so good as to deliver it into his 
own hands with my most respectful regards." 

ELIZABETH TO MBS. SCOTT. 

lSth December, 1808. 
My own Dear Julia, — How long a time you must 
have been uneasy for your poor friend ! The sight of the 
dear amiable J. C. brought the whole recollection with full 
force, and convinced me that the hours and days pass 
with me much faster than I calculate. From half-past 
five in the morning until nine at night every moment is 
full ; no space even to be troubled. There is very little 
time for writing ; even at this moment the pen is falling 
from my hand, so completely is nature wearied. Many 
very advantageous offers of assistants have presented 
themselves ; but in the present state of my pupils we are 
so happy, and live so much as a mother surrounded by 

was detained by adverse circumstances at Naples, whither he had gone in hopes of 
obtaining a passage to the United States, and died there in 1810 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 



her children, that I can not resolve to admit a stranger, 
yet it must be eventually. 

I am obliged so strictly to avoid giving offense, that as 
I could not leave home at any time without the greatest 
inconvenience, I do not pretend to leave it at all ; and 
this is one of the charms of my situation, which truly and 
indeed is most congenial to all my ideas of happiness. 
Oh, how sweet to be every moment employed in the ser- 
vice and in the sight of the dearest and most generous of 
Masters, who repays with the tenderness of compassionate 
love, even the good-will of His child, however imperfect 
its execution. My dear Julia, when I think of you, my 
first friend, who are so unchangeable through so many 
changes, I would wish to do something — any thing — that 
might be the least expression of my attachment to you 
and yours ; but such is the Divine order that the good 
must be received on my part, not bestowed ; and I must 
be content with that dispensation which lightens favors by 
conveying them through a hand so dear and beloved. 

I am now so well, so free from weakness of the breast, 
that I can hardly believe it ; but winter has always been 
my cheerful season ; and here I am sheltered from cold 
and changes of weather, wet walks, etc. May a thousand 
blessings, and the first and best of blessings, be yours the 
ensuing years, even to eternal ages. 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



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1809. — Letters. — Arrival at Baltimore of Cecelia and 
Harriet Seton. — Mrs. Seton takes Vows. — Removal 
to Emmitsburg and Foundation of St. Joseph's Com- 
munity. — Conversion of Harriet Seton. — Her Death 
in the Lord. — Letters. 

cecilia to elizabeth. 

N. Y., Jan. Sth, 1809. 
My Beloved Sister, Friend, and Mother, — I can 
never tell you half my feelings on seeing once more your 
dear handwriting. Mr. Redmond gave me your letter at 
half-past ten this morning. My heart was too full; I 
dared not read it till I got to a silent corner at the Wil- 
derness. Then, offering my heart to Jesus, I opened it; 
there was no restraining the tears. I did not wait for 
your letter to be firm and resolute. Did you then think 
your Cecily could trifle with another's happiness ? Never, 
dearest friend. I again repeat that my heart belongs only 
to my Lord : 'tis His alone, and I trust will ever be. I 
feel my situation daily more painful; God only can 
know all. 

There is so much discontent shown at all I do, that I 
have been asking permission once more to join you. They 
tell me that it is the will of God that I remain where I 
am. I will fight it out as long as I can support it. He 
only knows how long that will be. One thing I know, 
that I shall have strength according to the weight of my 
cross. Yet it seems to me He will not let it remain long 
so. I am hourly in fear of splitting on the many quick- 
sands and rocks which surround me. Ah ! dearest sister, 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 



can you not write me oftener ? No one can know half the 
pleasure I feel on reading your letters. But do not 
indulge me if you must give up any visits to the dear 
chapel. My conjectures were then right about Christmas- 
eve. I imagined how you would spend it. I little 
thought when you left me, we were to be so long separa- 
ted. No, my sister, I expected long before Christmas to 
have been one of you. I saw Zide 1 on Sunday. She 
says you must not think she neglects you. But she can 
not write without being obliged to show her letters, and 
in that case it would be pleasure neither to you nor to 
her. My fingers are almost frozen, I can scarcely hold 
the pen. My heart is too full to write in the parlor. 
Friday night I staid in town with Mrs. Wall. I stood 
godmother to Mrs. Fowlers child ; she is a convert. Was 
at church before eight; at communion at sunrise. You 
have that happiness every morning. Farewell, your own 
forever. 

Cecilia Theresa. 

elizabeth to mrs. sadler. 

Jan. 20*A, 1809. 

The truth is I am a coward in thought, and 

try to drive away the past as much as possible, in what- 
ever occasions regret. To receive the daily bread and to 
do the sacred will — that is the fixed point. But I find 
in proportion as my heart is more drawn towards the sum- 
mit, it looks back with added tenderness to every one 1 

1 Elizabeth Farquhar, of whom in a former note, she was twenty-one, and well 
disposed to Catholicity. 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



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have ever loved ; much more to those who have long pos- 
sessed its entire and truest attachment. 1 

In February Elizabeth received a short letter from 
Mrs. Barry, announcing the death of her daughter Ann, 
at Madeira, on the 21st of August preceding. It was sad 
news, for she was sincerely attached to this gentle-hearted 
girl, whose personal merits lent a charm to the kindness 
of her parents towards the convert. Mrs. Barry writes : 
" My angel frequently spoke of you and your sweet 
children. You and they will not forget her. Her last 
words to me were pray, pray/' Anna Seton was partic- 
ularly affected by the loss of one who had been an inti- 
mate companion and example of all the virtues that 
should adorn a Christian virgin. 

ELIZABETH TO MRS. DUPLEX. 

February, 1809. 
My Dear Friend, — I must beg of you to give me 
some account of your health, as I have heard that you 
have been much indisposed. How much my heart prays 
for you, and how tenderly it is attached to you, you can 
never know until we reach the source of light who will 
make all things evident. Oh ! dear sister, to us who look 

i This passage and many others breathing the same spirit, which occur in Eliza- 
beth's letters and papers after her conversion, are another proof of the assertion 
that the Gatholic religion, far from drying up in the heart, which tending to perfec- 
tion offers itself entirely to God, the love of natural affection, expands it, elevates it, 
and gives it with supernatural intensity relation to an Infinite Object — to God who 
is charity. 



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44 MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 

beyond the pains and separations of our present existence, 
how sweet is the hope of an eternal reunion in the pres- 
ence of our Lord ! I know that all your hopes are fixed 
on that happy time, which makes me love you with a love 
which is inconceivable to those who do not find their 
center in the sacred hearts of Jesus and Mary. But He 
knows with what tenderness I present you to Him in my 
happy communion and the daily masses I assist at. I 
hope you never forget me in yours. 

There is no news of our dear Mrs. Barry. No doubt 
our angelic Ann now remembers us who have been so 
fondly attached to her. Dear, dear friend, my tears flow 
at the thought of her happiness, and the heavenly hope 
that we shall share it with her. Oh ! let us not stop a 
moment, but sigh incessantly for that happy hour when 
we will be together, absorbed in the ocean of His love 
who is now our life, our hope, our consolation. 

Dear friend, do not be displeased that I am so much 
at liberty in writing to you : loving you in God, I can not 
speak any other language. That we may be happy in the 
ages of eternity is the fervent new year wish of your 
affectionate friend. 

Tour handsome present was far too handsome for me, 
dear friend. I have long ago offered it to God in the 
service of the altar in your name, which was the greatest 
pleasure I could have. 

In the month of February Mrs. Seton's attention was 
more seriously than ever turned towards the formation 
of a religious community to which she was invited to 
belong. Her co-operation was of a very modest kind. 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 45 

It "had already long before entered into the heads of the 
zealous and far-seeing French clergymen in Baltimore 
and Boston, to prepare a society in this country in which 
women, while attending in a special manner to their own 
sanctification, might bestow a care upon the young in 
schools, asylums, and such like institutions. This is 
apparent from the letters of Cheverus, Matignon, and 
Dubourg, in all of which they deprecate Mrs. Seton's 
idea of removing to Montreal, although Mr. Filicchi 
favored it, and they would not have thwarted his wish 
without some particular reason. There can be no doubt 
that these three distinguished priests, and Mr. Tisserant 
also, early contemplated the establishment for females of 
a religious house, with a constitution as well adapted to 
the necessities of the country as circumstances would 
allow. An occasion only was wanting to carry out their 
plan ; and this the pious ecclesiastics knew would not 
remain unrevealed if their design entered into the views 
of God. It was no harm to wait, since any hasty action 
might ruin all. 

Mrs. Seton was first to establish herself in Baltimore, 
to breathe an atmosphere wholly Catholic ; t<^ exercise 
herself in the duties of mistress of a school, whim follow- 
ing, at the same time, what might almost be styled a 
semi-conventual mode of life, and attending with fixed 
attention under enlightened direction to advancement in 
Christian perfection. During this period of preparation, 
Mr. Dubourg and others were to look about for persons 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OP 



who could join Mrs. Seton, and for the material means 
with which to execute their cherished project. They 
were successful in both points: to them, to members of 
the Clerge Emigre, belongs pre-eminently the honor of 
having founded Saint Joseph's House, and, consequently* 
of introducing the Sisters of Charity into the United 
States. 

ELIZABETH TO MRS. SCOTT. 

Baltimore, March 2d 9 1809. 
My Julia, — As you have so long shared all my pains, 
how much pleasure it will give you to know that Provi- 
dence has disposed for me a plan after my own heart. A 
benevolent gentleman 1 of this place has formed a scheme 
of establishing a manufactory for the use of the poor, and 
includes in his intention the education of children, rich and 
poor. He is about purchasing a place at Emmitsburg, 
some distance from Baltimore, and has offered me the 
department of taking care of the children who may be 
presented, or rather of being the mother of the family. 
This pleases me for many reasons ; besides I shall live in 
the mountains and see no more of the world than if I were 
out of it A very amiable young lady, 2 who has been my 
assistant these two months past, will accompany me ; and 
with Miss Nicholson, whom I before mentioned to you, and 
Mr. Dubourg's niece compose an amiable society. 

1 Mr. Cooper, a convert, of whom in a former letter. 
• Miss Cecilia O'Conway. 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



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CECILIA TO ELIZABETH. 

Wilderness, March bth, 1809. 

Most Dear Friend, — Mr. Kohlraan 1 seems 

more and more averse than ever to my leaving New York. 
He has gone so far as to tell me I can not go unless in oppo- 
sition to his advice and the will of God. That in Baltimore 
I can do no good. He is to write you a few lines about it. 
We move in town next month. One consolation, my 
sister, I am in the hands of God, and He will direct all 
for my salvation. If I am not to be with you, I can only 
say : u Thy will be done." If otherwise, with what joy 
and gratitude would I fly to the arms of my more than 
mother. But, hush ! I could fill pages on that subject. 
Mr. Kohlman has so well regulated my hours for the 
course of the day that every thing comes much easier, 
and I have more time for study, which is a great object 
for me at present. I am no longer permitted to rise at 
four — six is the hour. It makes a vast difference. But 
obedience renders all sweet and easy. My May expedi- 
tion is entirely given up. 2 In the first place, S 8 says 

he will not go with me, and Mr. Redmond tells me it is 
foolish to think of it; moreover it would be a great self- 
indulgence. Never mind, it will all come in good time. 
Every day I think how sweetly you must pass the season 
of Lent. I have made out very well so far. I must not 
wish to pass it with you, for then it would no longer be a 

1 A Jesuit priest stationed in New York. 

* She alludes to a proposed visit to Baltimore. Cecily and her friends disposed 
one way, but softly God another. 

• One of her brothers. 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 



time of penance. Dear friend, farewelL I hope your 
reverend friends all remember me at the Divine sacrifice. 
Your own forever, 

Cecilia Theresa. 

from the same. 

March 20^, 1809. 
I know, beloved sister, you must be somewhat aston- 
ished at not hearing from me last week, in answer to your 
two letters which I received the same day. Could you, 
then, doubt of your Cecily's being willing to join you in 
any way, or any part of the world ? I did not wish to 
write you until I had seen Mr. Kohlman. He had not 
then heard from the bishop. He said if it was the will 
of God I should go, but he thought it would be better put 

off until the fall, until E 's return from school, as she 

would then be of an age to take charge of the little ones. 
Ah, my beloved dear friend, my soul truly sighs for the 
hour of peace and retirement. You know the dear beings 
that draw my heart most to New York. Harriet is the 
chief. When I mentioned to her my idea of going, she 
could not restrain the tears. She said I ought not to 
leave her now, as there was so great a prospect of her 

being married in the summer. B has settled at 

Jamaica, 1 and is to take her there for the first six or seven 
years. I am confident I should suffer much in parting 
with them ; but, at the same time, both they and you 
must be assured how much happier I would be at Emraits- 
burg. If the anticipation is so sweet, what will the real- 
ity be ? Yet do not think, my beloved, I expect a life of 

1 West Indies. 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



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ease and pleasure. No, I seek the glory of God, and 
expect a life of penance and humiliation. I shall be very 
anxious to hear from you. Do, dearest, write soon. If I 
can, you shall hear from me in a few days. I thought my 
cough was over, but it has only been kept off. It has 
now returned worse than ever. So, my beloved, do not 
be astonished if you do not hear from me, for when I 
cough much my head is so giddy and eyes so blind as not 
to let me read or write. 

Pray, pray for your own dear 

Cecily. 

elizabeth to cecilia. 

March 26th, 1809. 
My Dear Cecilia, — The first news I had of your suf- 
fering and illness was from a letter of , which, at 

the same time, gives the hope that you will soon be with 
us. I can not but expect you with joy such as you alone 
can believe who know how much my happiness is con- 
nected with yours. Do not bring any other clothes but 
a black gown. Keep your heart in peace and as composed 
as possible in parting with so many most dear to you. 
Look up and remember what poor sister has gone through. 
And our dear Harriet and Eliza ! But He who is our 
only support will sustain them. My darling, I shall count 
every hour till you are in the arms of your own dear sister 

in Christ 

vol. n. — i 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 



CECILIA TO ELIZABETH. 

Wilderness, March 27th, 1809. 
Since my last letter, my beloved sister, my prayers 
and communions have been offered to our adored Jesus to 
know His will, and to place me in that state which will 
tend most to His glory. After having disclosed with 
sincerity to my director every circumstance and every 
feeling of my heart I rest quiet, earnestly begging the 
assistance of our Lord, who, I am sure, could never leave 
in error one who so sincerely desires to do His will. You 
must know little, my sister, of your Cecily's heart if you 
doubt for a moment her love for a religious life. I told 
Mr. Cooper how much I desired to be with you. He 
thought I was called to that state. Yet, my sister, when 
I think of the dear children, of the change it will be for 
them when I leave, I know not what to think of it. On 
the other side, by remaining in the world I am exposed to 
innumerable dangers. My love for a religious life may be 
weakened. All this I told Mr. Cooper, but he bid me 
trust in God and fear nothing. Do, do pray for your own. 
Oh ! my sister, your Cecily fears so to be deceived. Will 
not Mr. Babad sometimes offer the blessed sacrifice for 
me? 

The health of Cecilia Seton began to show alarming 
symptoms early in. the spring of this year, and it was 
determined, after many entreaties on her part, to permit 
her to join Elizabeth, without whose society it would 
seem as if she could not live, for her position among 
Protestant relatives in New York had sharpened the 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



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anguish of separation from the only one who could, to 
natural affection, add the charms of religious sympathy. 
She arrived in Baltimore towards the end of April in a 
very feeble condition, accompanied by her sister Harriet, 
and a brother who returned to New York after seeing 
them safe ; but her sister remained with her. 

It is easy to imagine the welcome of Christian love 
the long-wished for Cecily received from Elizabeth. The 
evening of her arrival the kind-hearted Father Babad 1 
sent her a paper with the following pretty little verses : — 



1 The Rev. Peter Babad was a SulpitiaD, and as learned, zealous, good as the rest 
of his venerable confreres. He came originally from the village of Pont-de-Veyle, in 
what is now the department of the Ain. On a paper of his in my possession, of the 
6th of May, 1809, he has jotted down, in French, the following memorandum of him- 
self : "Born on the 10th of June, baptized on the 1 1th, in the year 1763, feast of the 
Sacred Heart of Jesus. Cast into prison for the faith of Jesus on the 20th of June, 
also the feast of the Sacred Heart" This holy priest was commonly called by the 
simple endearing title of Pert. His many gentle qualities made him a universal 
favorite in Baltimore. He had, moreover, the truly apostolic gift of accommodating 
his words to the intelligence of his hearers. Some of his first communion instructions, 
written for one of Mrs. Seton's two youngest daughters, are admirable for their sim- 
plicity, joined to sufficiently ample development He had, also, an excellent voice, 
and a facility for turning ideas into verse ; truly one of those, u Such as by their 
skill sought out musical tunes and published canticles in writing." — EccksiasL xliv. 5. 



Colombo entre dans Tarche 
Renferme toi dans son sein ; 
Un nouveau patriarche 
Tj conduira de sa main. 



Que le peuple volatil 
Entonne ses chants joyeuz : 
La colombine Cecile, 
Oiel ! est rendue & nos voeuz. 



Apres un long voyage, 

Qu'il est doux d'eutrer au port I 



Quand battu de 1'orage, 
On a vu de pres la mort 




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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 



Que le peuple volatil 
Entonne ses chants joyeux: 
La colombine (Mcile, 
Ciel ! est rendue k nos voeux. 

Mrs. Seton having been joined by several pious ladies 
intent on their own spiritual advancement, and desirous 
of serving the poor, it was thought proper that they 
should assume a semi-religious habit. This was a plain 
black gown, and cap of the same color, with plaited bor- 
der, and pendant from a cincture, a chaplet of beads. 1 
Mrs. Seton was further admitted to the three customary 
simple vows* of religion, which, as she says in a letter to 
a friend, she took in the hands of Bishop Carroll, on her 
knees before a crucifix, to be binding for one year's time 
only, but to be renewed at stated periods, if she should 
so wish to engage herself, and were approved by her 
(ecclesiastical superior. 

From this time those who had united with her, looked 
upon themselves as her spiritual children, and began to 
address her by the beautiful title of Mother. 

1 Elizabeth's beads were given her by Mr. Dubourg's sister. They are large, 
black, and solid — meant for use not ornament — with a brass medal of the B. V. 
attached between the decades and the initial string, which has a silver ring and 
crucifix at the extremity. Around the ring is engraved : corunum — anima una. On 
the back of the cross: Chariias christi urget nos: Pauperes cjangelizantur, and on 
the face, under the figure of our Lord : Tibi Soli. 

* Vows in the Catholic Church are either simple or solemn. The latter kind are 
officially accepted by her, the former not Both equally oblige in conscience, but 
differ widely in their dignity and effect 



ELIZABETH SETON. 



63 



TO JULIA SCOTT. 

Baltimore, 9th Mat/, 1809. 

The superior 1 of the Seminary here, who is graced with 
all the venerable qualities of seventy-five, which is his 
age, a mind still strong and alive to the interests of our 
little family as if we were all his own, and one of the most 
elegant men in his manners you ever met with, is going to 
take charge of our community, arid reside at Emmitsburg. 
This is a great consolation in every sense, since he will 
say mass for us every day, regulate our religious exer- 
cises, etc The views of Mr. Cooper have always 

been to afford instruction and consolation to the poor in 
every way it can be applied to them. To speak the joy 
of my soul at the prospect of being able to assist the poor, 
visit the sick, comfort the afflicted, clothe little innocents, 
and teach them to love God ! There I must stop. 

In the month of J une Elizabeth, her two sisters-in-law, 
her daughter Anna, and one of the pious ladies who had 
joined her, 2 left Baltimore for Emmitsburg, a small vil- 
lage of Frederick County, in the northernmost part of 
Maryland, between the upper streams of the Monocacy 
and the Catoctin ridge of the South Mountains. It was 

1 The Very Rev. Francis Nagot. He was born at Tours, in 1734, and came in 
1791 with three other Sulpitians to Baltimore, where he founded Saint Mary's Semi- 
nary, and became its first superior. Something intervened, probably his health, to 
hinder him from going, as he had intended, to direct the infant community at Emmits- 
burg. He died in 1816, full of years and good works. 

a This little party went on first, principally to make a few necessary arrange- 
ments against the coming of the rest, but in part to give Cecilia, whose health was 
fust growing worse, the benefit of purer air. 



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54 MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 

there the generous aid of the Rev. Mr. Cooper, seconding 
Mr. Dubourg's plan, had located the new establishment, 
of which Elizabeth has spoken in her letters. The route 
of the little party was by way of Westminster, going 
diagonally across the State almost to the Pennsylvania 
line, and passing through a region, in some parts beau- 
tiful, in others monotonously ugly ; yet the eye could 
generally turn as a relief from the unpicturesqueness of 
immediate, surroundings to a range of blue hills on the 
left, rising in the distance into mountains. The journey 
was made amidst the cheerfully borne discomforts of heat, 
dust, bad roads, streams unbridged, joltings, crowding, 
fatigue, and fear of freshets, partly on foot and partly in 
one of those huge, canvas-covered, creaking wains in use 
among the country people of Maryland. The expenses 
of the expedition amounted to fifty dollars. 

On arriving at Emmitsburg the women ijound the build- 
ing on the property, purchased by Mr. Cooper, unfit for 
immediate occupation, and were fain to accept the shelter 
of a log-house, about two miles from the village, which 
Mr. Dubois, the missionary priest of the district, had 
built on the side of the mountain, a little below Saint 
Mary's church, and which he gave over to their occu- 
pancy, while he moved into new buildings further down, 
intended for a college. 

The while this band of devoted women, pioneers of, 
in some sense, a new religious order in the United States, 
were peacefully living on the mountain side in a lowly 



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ELIZABETH SETOtf. 



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house, in humble attire, busied in prayer and homely 
occupations, occurred the much-hoped conversion of Har- 
riet Seton. As the feast of Saint Mary Magdalen drew 
near, all her friends redoubled their prayers in her behalf. 
Two days before it the incomparable 'Father Babad ad- 
dressed her the following letter : — 

* 

J. M. J. 1 

Baltimore, 20^ July, 1809. 
Most Dear Child, — After to-morrow, the day of St. 
Mary Magdalen, do join your Father in the solemn offering 
of the Great Sacrifice of the altar for your eternal con- 
cerns. Let us give thanks to Jesus for the favors he con- 
ferred on the loving Magdalen and through her intercession, 
let us beg for you the same grace and mercy. Faith will 
necessarily augment the merit of your love. Love, then, 
with all your heart Him who has eternally, from all eter- 
nity, loved you so generously, so purely, so disinterestedly, 
who has suffered so much for you, who has so patiently 
waited for you. Be ready to return Him love for love, 
and sacrifice for sacrifice. In your name, and as your rep- 
resentative, your interpreter at the altar, I will offer Him 
the sacrifice of your understanding, disposed to believe 
whatever He has taught us, the sacrifice of your tender 
heart choosing Him for the only object of your love, the 
sacrifice of your will ready to obey all His commandments, 
the sacrifice of your body prepared for mortification and 
penance. Amen. 

i 

1 Jesus, Mary, Joseph, This good priest invariably headed his letters with a 
crosslet and the initials of the Holy Family. 



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Early in the day of the blessed feast of the Magdalen, 
Elizabeth, after pouring forth her own fervent prayers, 
and uniting her intention with that of the good Fathers 
Dubois and Babad in the holy sacrifice, made the fol- 
lowing:— 

Memorandum. — Saturday morning, July 22d. — Two 
masses said for poor Harriet : one in Baltimore, the other 
on St. Mary's Mountain. — Angels of heaven offer thy 
prayers. 

So many petitions, such powerful intercession, so 
much grace of the all-merciful God, were not without 
fruit : Harriet was a Catholic in the evening. Among 
her papers is the following note relating to this event and 
subsequent religious acts : — 

I formed my first resolution of becoming a Catholic 
on the 22d of July, Saint Mary Magdalen's day, in the 
little chapel on Saint Mary's Mountain. On that day 
the pastor of two happy souls I was ardently attached 
to, offered up the Divine sacrifice of the mass for my con- 
version. 

September 24th. — Day of the Blessed Virgin of Mercy, 
— Received my first communion. On the same day made 
a renewal of my baptismal vows, and was entered in the 
sodality of the Sacred Heart. Hour of adoration, seven 
o'clock in the morning. 

On Tuesday the 25th made my second communion, and 
was entered in the sodality of the Rosary of the Blessed 
Virgin Mary. 



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Verses of Father Babad to Harriet after giving her 
first communion and aggregating her to the sodality of 
the Sacred Heart. 

J. M. J. 

St. Joseph's Vjxley, 24th of September, 1809, 
Day op the B. Y. de Mercede. 

Jadis, chere Harriet, aujourd'hui Magdeleine, 
Souviens-toi qu'a tel jour, qu'aujourd'hui, tu recus 
Ton Dieu Sauveur, ton Roi, ton Epoux, ton Jesus, 
Que ton dme de Lui (femeura toute pleine : 
Qu'apres L'avoir loge dans ton cceur tout amour, 
Je te logeai toi-m£me en ce cceur tout tendresse, 

Ou tu trouveras tour a tour, 

Et ton appui dans ta faiblesse, 

Et dans l'angoisse et la detresse: 
Ta consolation jusqu'a cet heureux jour 
Ou le bonbeur commence, oh finit la triatesse. 

Plonge-toi dans ces divius Coeurs 

De la compatissante Mere, 
Et de son Fils, Jesus le d^bonnaire, 
Source de tous les biens, abime de douceurs. 

Soon after Harriet's conversion the little party, which 
had meanwhile been joined by those who had remained 
in Baltimore, left the temporary dwelling on the moun- 
tain and removed to the valley. 

The house first occupied by the community of Saint 
Joseph's, was a small two-storied building with a high 
porch in front and an open passage running behind. It 
stood about a quarter of a mile to the right of the public 
road, between the mountain and the village, surrounded 
by a few trees, and on a gentle rise some hundreds of 
yards from the valley stream. Here the pious women 



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assembled with an appropriate ceremony of taking posses- 
sion, which was conducted by the Rev. Mr. Dubois, and 
consisted in blessing the place according to the form in 
the ritual, 1 and sprinkling it with holy water. They 
then went in procession to a little wooded knoll, still 
used by their successors as a place of assemblage for 
recreation and out-of-door prayer, and recited the Litany 
of the Saints. The community was, also, with special in- 
vocation, placed under the patronage of the glorious 
patriarch St. Joseph. 

On the 10th of August following, the first mass was 
said in the house, and all who could 8 received holy com- 
munion in honor of the blessed martyr Lawrence. 

The community was now fully and fixedly estab- 
lished. 

The Rev. Father Dubois 8 was indefatigable in his 
exertions to assist the new-comers, and when not obliged 

1 Benedictio Loci, in rituali Romano. 

* Harriet and Rebecca bad not jet made their first communion. 

• John Dubois was born in Paris, August 24th, 1764. He left France on ac- 
count of the revolution, and in 1791 arrived in the United States. " Bishop Carroll 
welcomed the faithful exile, and authorized him to exercise the functions of his holy 
ministry, first at Norfolk, and afterwards at Richmond. Recommended by General 
La Fayette to the Randolphs, Lees, and Beverleys, to James Monroe and Patrick 
Henry, he received the kiudest and most respectful attentions from these distin- 
guished statesmen and their numerous friends, and for want of a Catholic chapel 
said mass in the Capitol, and there administered the sacraments to the few scattered 
Catholics who could avail themselves of his ministry." — Discourse on Bishop Dubois 
by the Very Rev. Dean McCaffrey, D. D. In 1794 he was appointed pastor at Fred- 
erick, Md., and in 1826, after long and faithful services, was made Bishop of New 
York, in which city he died December 20th, 1843. He was of those who "have 
gained glory in their generations, and were praised in their days : . . . . men 
of mercy whose godly deeds have not failed."— Ecclesiasi. xliv. 7, 10. 



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to say mass at the village or the mountain church, he 
used to go to the modest little chapel fitted up in one of 
the rooms at Saint Joseph and say it there. This excel- 
lent clergyman was later superior of the Sisters, and con- 
tinued for many years to give them his untiring attention. 
On Sundays and holydays of obligation the community 
heard mass at one of the two parish churches attend- 
ed by Father Dubois, until, as the number of inmates 
increased, a priest was appointed to go regularly to their 
chapeL 

The women entered at once upon their occupations, 
which were to teach poor children, visit the sick, sew, 
knit, and make clothes. 

A boarding-school for girls, whose parents could 
afford to pay for their education, had been contemplated ; 
and not long after the occupation of Saint Joseph's the 
first pupils were received. All idea of a manufactory 
that Mr. Cooper may have entertained, and which Eliza- 
beth mentions in a letter, appears to have been soon 
given up. 

BEV. MB. SIBOITBD TO ELIZABETH. 

September, 1809. 
My Dear Daughter, — Though I seldom write, yet I 
always think of you ; your little ones, and dear Cecilia, 
whom I offer to God every day at the altar — the place, 
you know, you all like best to be remembered at. I give 
you joy for your solemn renunciation of the world, of this 
deceitful world, wherein nothing is to be found but grief 



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and vexation of spirit, to espouse Jesus Christ, who will 
be your joy and never-failing happiness. 

But for my bad eyes and impaired health by cold cli- 
mates, I should have taken up my residence near the holy 
mountain, there to be once more the confidential father of 

my dearly beloved child in Christ, M. A. Seton 

On the 25th ultimo you had my blessing, and the holy 
sacrifice of mass was offered in your intention. May the 
Almighty prosper your future exertions for the institution 
of St. Joseph. Amen, amen, amen. 

L. Sibourd. 

ELIZABETH TO MRS. SCOTT. 

Emmitsburg, 20th Sept., 1809. . 
0 my Julia, — What a letter have I received from you ! 
How could you write to your friend she seemed to have 
forgotten you ? Yet you know not that the nearer a soul 
is truly to God, the more its sensibilities are increased to 
every being of His creation ; much more to those whom it 
is bound to love by the tenderest and most endearing ties. 
You will hoar a thousand reports about our community, 
which I beg you not to mind. The truth is we have the 
best ingredients of happiness — order, peace, and solitude* 
There are only sixteen now in the family ; a steward sup- 
plies all out-door wants. Nothing can be more pleasant 
than our situation as to woods, meadows, and a gentle 
stream that winds behind our house. With regard to 
Anna, 1 all will be right at last with the excellent examples 

1 Elizabeth's daughters lived with her at Saint Joseph's. Her two sons were 
admitted into the college, newly opened by Mr. Dubois, at the base of the mountain. 
They used to walk over once a week to see their mother and sisters. 



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she has in both her aunts. Cecilia's complaint of the 
chest remains. B has written poor Harriet a pro- 
posal that he should remain eight or ten years longer in 
Jamaica to obtain a fortune. She is so shocked at a pro- 
posal which evidently shows his indifference to her, that 
it seems to disgust her with every thing of the kind. 
However, I hope he will know how to appreciate her merit 
and constancy, and things may be accommodated in a 
shorter time. She has resolved to wait the event patiently, 
and make the best use of her time in the interval. Ann 
and Cecilia are the gainers, as she is determined to hide 
her disappointment in our mountains, and keep out of the 
circles of fashion this winter, which would be impossible 

if she returned to New York I think you will 

come to see me next summer, and take a peep at our black 
gowns and demure looks, which hide, however, a set of as 
lively, merry hearts as ever met together. If you knew 
half the real good your friend possesses, while the world 
thinks she is deprived of every thing worth having, you 
would moralize an hour at least, and allow that she has 
really and truly the best of it. If I am not strong in 
health, it is because my constitution is broken. Air, exer- 
cise, good food, and content ought to strengthen me ; but 
so long a combat as I have gone through will leave its 
vestiges, yet there is no settled complaint of any kind. 
What are you doing darling, dear Gloriana? You are 
well, you have many comforts, but you have not all. 
When you are taken to the sick-bed, what will you say ? 
You will acknowledge then you have enough — too much 
of this world, because it has bound you. You will feel a 
want, then, which nothing can supply. The long, long life 
in perspective will seem a strange land with strange inhab- 



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itants. Think about it a little. Do you know, dearest, 
that after all my neglect of you, and the little reason you 
have to think I love you with the boundless tenderness I 
do, God is my witness I would this moment gladly give 
my life to obtain for you the comforts to be obtained in 
that hour; the peace of a soul going to its kindest, dearest, 
most tender Friend. You understand. When I think of 
you, sometimes I could go and tear you away from all, 
nd wrap you in the bosom that loves and has loved you 
long. What would I not do to give you only a little 
.aste ! Dear, dear friend, you laugh ; but while you laugh 
consider what an extravagant idea it is that piety creates 
gloominess and disgust. Who think so are unacquainted 
with the anticipations of a soul whose views are chiefly 
pointed to another existence ; it is inconceivable what 
liberty it enjoys. The cares and troubles of life surround 
it, to be sure, as others ; but how different their effect !. 
Human passions and weaknesses, to be sure, are never 
extinct, but they can not triumph in a heart possessed by 
Peace. She is lovely, Julia. Make acquaintance with 
her. She will not be angry you have neglected her so 
long. Tell me in your next how you like her. Forever 
your own friend, 

E. A. Seton. 

In the month of October the Right Rev. Bishop Car- 
roll visited Emmitsburg, and administered confirmation 
on the 20th. Among those who received the sacrament 
were Harriet and Anna Seton. 



ELIZABETH SET0N. 



63 



TO CECILIA FROM ONE OF HER BROTHERS. 

New York, October 29//*, 1809. 

Harriet gives your bad health as her principal reason 
for remaining at Emmitsburg all winter, and wherever I 
go I am asked whether she is really a Roman Catholic. 
My answer is : " That is the report." 

A singular circumstance happened yesterday. I had 
been shooting with John near Newark, and had made a 
stop to lunch, when the Diligence stage came along with 
three female and two male passengers. As soon as the 
conveyance drew up, they commenced a conversation about 
the Setons at Emmitsburg. You may imagine my curi- 
osity. I turned my head towards the stage, but was not 
near enough to hear much. One of the ladies asked if 
Cecilia was not her name? The reply was : "Yes, Cecilia 
Seton ; there are three sisters there." At that moment I 
was on the point of saying : " And pray, madam, what do 
you know of the three sisters. If you know any thing, 
speak ! for they are near and dear to my heart," when 
the stage drove off apace. One of the ladies was remark- 
ably pretty, and had a little child in her arms ; and one 
of the gentlemen left a stick which I have now in my 
possession, and look at every day as if it had something 
to reveal, but not a word can I get out of it. I think the 
best way to get the full story of the three sisters, will be 
to advertise the stick 

The news of Harriet's conversion brought down upon 
her quite a little storm of letters full of horror and indig- 
nation at such a treasonable act. Mr. and Mrs. Ogden, 



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her sister and brother-in-law, in whose family 9he had 
lived in New York, considered themselves the most 
aggrieved. The two following letters contain the usual 
appeals to the feelings and temporal interests which are 
thought by some to be such powerful arguments with 
any who differ from them in matters of religion. They 
also curiously show how consistent Protestants are in the 
inconsistency with which they visit persecution on per- 
sons logical enough to thiuk for themselves from the 
premises of their religion. It is simply ridiculous to 
have a Protestant reproach a convert to the Catholic 
Church with instability of faith; 1 but the other letter is 
unusually brutal and oafish, even in the customary anti- 
Catholic line of argument. Mr. Brut6 summed it up 
mildly when he wrote on the back : Poor controversy. 

MR. OGDEN TO HARRIET SETON.* 

New York, November 21th, 1809. 
Your letter of the 12th instant, my dear Harriet, to 
your aunt, announcing the reality of our fears respecting 
your first concerns in this life, has this day been received. 
From all that had already passed in our family on the 
subject as it respected Cecilia, from the peculiar manner 
in which you left us, and above all from the solemn assu- 
rances you gave us both before and after your departure, 

1 If Bossuet could come to life again and bring his History of the Variations Oj 
the Protestants down to 1869, "The world itself would not be able to contain the 
books that should be written." — John xxi. 25. 

* What is italicized is underlined in the original 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



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we confidently hoped that a temporary absence, in the 
discharge of the duties of a sister, would preserve your 
mind and judgment uncorrupted by the artifices and 
temptations to which you would be necessarily exposed. 
In addition to these, I must confess I had great confidence 
in your discretion and good sense, that you would not 
hastily have abandoned the faith in which you had so far 
progressed towards immortality, and through which you 
had enjoyed all the consolation and comfort this transitory 
life can require. But permit me, before I go further, to 
pass a candid opinion upon the letter alluded to, and if I 
shall doubt the sincerity spoken of in it, I shall not so 
much impute it to your guileless heart, as to another head 
which, I think, dictated it : to that fatal influence which 
has not only brought on us extreme distress, but has 
drawn you aside from the straight path towards heaven, 
and from the society of your family and friends. Permit 
me, then, to say that, judging from all that has passed, in 
my opinion, your mind was poisoned before you left us ; 
that opportunity alone was wanting for the poison to show 
itself: and most unfortunately for us and for yourself, 
that opportunity occurred by the illness and consequent 
voyage of Cecilia. Far be it from me not to allow that 
the affection of a sister was in some degree a motive ; but 
I must think it was not the only, and but a secondary 
one ; and if so, tell me in the name of heaven, why not 
have mentioned your doubts and opinions before you left 
us? Why turn so suddenly, without mature inquiry, 
from the sacred pale of our and your church, to seek refuge 
and salvation within that of another, whose tenets, whose 
rites, and whose doctrines were to be declared and ex- 
plained (or had been so) by one of its devotees, uncontra- 

VOL. IL— 5 



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dieted by the unanswerable arguments of the members of 
your former church ? Had you avowed your determina- 
tion to embrace the Catholic faith, or even your disposi- 
tion to do so, before your departure, with one accord we 
would have taken measures to remove your doubts, to 
quiet your scruples, and to put that Monitor at rest who 
has been so imperious during your absence from us. But 
you did not think proper to do so ; and, therefore, I think 
you have not acted with your usual candor — the loss of 
which I can only attribute to your change of principle. 
And now let me say a few words in relation to your new 
faith, for I can not call it a religion. In doing this I shall 
not attempt any more learning than that of the most com- 
mon layman ; and, of course, not pretend to discuss the 

merits or errors of either side of the question 

[Primitive purity of the church. Corruption. Popish 
errors. Dark ages. Superstition. Second dawn of pure 
and undefiled religion. Luther and Calvin. The Church 
of England. Glory, glory, glory. "Fire and rolling 
smoke." . . .] .... At this moment we see the Pope 
a cipher on earth, a mere nothing in temporal and spirit- 
ual power. The prophecies within the last few years 
have also been examined with peculiar learning and care, 
and their explanation and daily fulfillment abundantly 
demonstrate the near and final overthrow of the chair of 
this vicegerent of Heaven, and unfold to the world the 
falsity of his faith and their delusion. Believe me, dear 
girl, for many ages it has been a persuasion calculated 
only for the government of the most ignorant part of 
Europe. It has so far degenerated from its original pu- 
rity as too often to be a mask for the perpetration of the 
most dreadful crimes j and really, at this time of day, to 



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see a Protestant forsaking the church for worship in a 
Roman chapel, is a phenomenon not to be accounted for, 

unless through the means of undue influence 

Harriet, let me ask you, how is it possible that you can 
pin your faith upon the sleeve of another, relinquish 
the sacred observance of our former worship, the society 
of your friends, and bid defiance, without due reflection, 
to the opinion of the world ? You say your eternal wel- 
fare is at stake. I grant it ; but is the opinion of a 
woman (or of two or three priests paid for their profes- 
sion) to prevail over the most learned and numerous body 
of divines in the world ? men, the most enlightened min- 
isters of God's Word here below, who are all equally con- 
cerned with yourself, and interested for their individual 
welfare hereafter, and who have pronounced the Catholic 
faith (as now used and emanating from the Pope) not 
orthodox, and bordering on profanation and idolatry. . . . 
.... You must then perceive the immense difference 
between worshiping an Invisible and Infinite Trinity in 
spirit and in holiness, and the senseless addresses to 
wooden images or imaginary saints. The former is in 
union with our rational and established religion, the latter 
with superstition, ignorance, misguided zeal, and degen- 
erate Catholicism. Yet, important as this subject is to 
you, as you acknowledge it is, how have you acted? 
Why, I will plainly tell you. Immured in the solitude of 
your retirement, you have lent a willing ear to the per- 
suasions of Mrs. Seton, the only person in her situation in 
the United States, a constant witness of the external per. 
formance of her devotions, your heart has yielded to the 
delusion ; your mind thus seduced has embraced and 
avowed her faith, not because internally convinced of its 



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purity, but from the strong impression of her manner, and 
the want of opportunity of worshiping after your former 
custom, from the absence of other society ; and, in short, 
from your want of discretion. This, then, on my solemn 
belief, has been the cause of our present distress, and of 
your lamentable and hopeless condition. Thank God! 
there ig yet a remedy in your own hands — suspend, or 
rather recall the rash resolution you have made ..... 
It would be useless for me to describe the pain and anguish 
of mind which now distract the family on your account, 
more particularly your aunt, who really mourns as for the 
loss of a child, and with whom we have had but one con- 
versation on the subject, and that was short, for it was 
intruding on grief. But I do not wish to address your 
feelings, but rather your reason. Suffice it to say we are 
really distressed .... In addition to what I have already 
said on the merits of the unhappy subject of my letter, 
let me draw your attention for a moment to some other 
considerations which, perhaps, are entitled to some weight, 
even on the ground of policy. Reflect then on your situa- 
tion, supposing the hand of death has laid Mrs. Seton and 
Cecilia in the grave. Unfriended and deserted by rela- 
tions, you will find yourself immured in the gloomy 
recesses of your mountains, dependent on the scanty pro- 
vision of the sisterhood, and perhaps under the control of 
another less indulgent superior. Really, I should pity 
you. But to this, methinks, I hear you say, in the jargon 
of a convent, my religion tvill support me under every trial. 
Believe me, then, these are unnecessary trials, never in- * 
tended or imposed by our Heavenly Father ; but, on the 
contrary, militating against His express commands. Be- 
sides, let me remark that the establishments at Baltimore 



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and Saint Joseph's are novel things in the United States, 
and would not have been permitted by the populace in 
any other place than in the democratic, Frenchified State 
of Maryland. The religion they profess is uncongenial to 
tjie habits, manners, and nature of Americans, and I pre- 
dict ere long, from many causes, the demolition of every 
building in that State in any wise resembling a convent or 
Catholic hospital. Yet do me the justice to believe that 
nothing contained on the last page is in any manner in- 
tended as in terrorem. I only wished to bring to your 
view probable events in which you are materially con- 
cerned 

MBS. OGDEN TO HARRIET. 

Greenwich, Saturday night, Dec. 9th, 1809. 
Oh, my dear Harriet, how have you disappointed those 
hearts that were so tenderly attached to you ! what painful 
affliction you have caused your first and truest friends ! 
How could you in a few short months throw aside, without 
the smallest hesitation, all those to whom you were en- 
deared, to whom you were united in the tenderest senti- 
ments of love, and to whom you were bound by gratitude 1 
and duty ? How could you desert us to pursue a path so 
exactly opposite to our wishes ? How could you embrace 
a religion which holds forth that its sacred ceremonies will 
lead you safe to heaven, while your family, though Chris- 
tians of a somewhat different faith, shall be driven to an 
abyss I shrink from mentioning ; and embrace it, too, with- 
out hesitation, without that consideration and reflection so 
sacredly necessary on an occasion of such infinite import- 

1 Harriet bad lived with her sister since their lather's death. 



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ance ? What an unaccountable infatuation ! You in whom 
we placed the fullest confidence, both as it respected the 
stability of your faith, your judgment and discretion ; you 
who gave the most solemn assurance of your speedy return 
with unchanged sentiments, to tell us without any previous 
intimation of that state of doubt which must have preceded 
it, that you have changed your religion, and have forsaken 
us forever ! I am almost inclined to disbelieve it. Har- 
riet, my dear girl, if the thought of relinquishing the 
society of all those so dear to you was not sufficient to 
induce you to act with more sincerity and candor, the ties 
of gratitude and implicit duty should have brought you to 
the bosom of your adopted mother, imploring her counsel 
and advice before so unfeeling a desertion. And even 
now imperious duty should bring you like a pleading cul- 
prit to beg that counsel which some enthusiastic vision 
has caused you to forego. Could you see the various and 
contending emotions depicted on my countenance when 
your name is mentioned, your heart would feel a sorrow 
that would make you repent the rash resolution you have 
taken. I love you as a sister, but I have felt for you as 
one that was unworthy of the name. Your conduct to the 
family that gave you protection has been unjust, ungen- 
erous, and insincere, so much so that unless you make a 
recantation, principles of the strictest justice would forbid 
them ever proffering you an asylum at your once happy 
home. Do you look forward to your situation, my darling 

Harriet ? If B , under existing circumstances, should 

refuse to unite his fate with yours, where then would you % 
retire to ? What would become of us ? Would you make 
inroads upon our happiness, and give up all for the sister- 
hood ? Heaven forbid ! I look forward with the brightest 



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hope for the revival of that happy day when we shall be 
once more united. As for me, I lament much more your 
ungracious conduct towards us than your change of reli- 
gion. Alas, there is no end to the separations of our 
family. You have now given the finishing stroke, for in 
your letter you have left us with little hope of ever seeing 
you again. I hope, my dear Harriet, you will look with a 
favorable eye on my husband's letter, and impute nothing 
he has there said to any other motives than affection and 
a wish gently to reprehend your inconsiderate conduct. 
He loves you much, and unites with us in wishes that it 
were in our power to repair the breach you have made in 
our shattered family. Take it in good part, he will be 
much pleased if you assure him from your own hand you 
have done so. Your bosom friend Eliza 1 feels your loss 
most sensibly, — so unexpected ! She has not yet reconciled 
her mind to such an unhappy event. S 2 is very dis- 
consolate, he blames himself very much for suffering you 
to stay. 

I am bound, in honor, to deliver a message from Mrs. 
Hoffman, that neither you nor Mrs. Seton will ever write 
to Emma or any^ of the girls. I shall expect to hear from 
you the next post after you receive this. 

Your truly affectionate sister, 

Charlotte Ogden. 

These and other letters received after her conversion 
deeply wounded Harriet's feelings, without in any way 
moving her from the position she had taken. The hand 

1 Farquhar. This young girl who had excited such hopes of conversion, never 
became a Catholic. 
* A brother. 



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of -God, gently all things disposing, had drawn her out 
of her country and from her kindred, u To seek a tranquil 
death in distant shades." Nature taking a wrong turn, 
she died most unexpectedly in the bloom of youth and 
beauty, on the 23d of December, 1809. Her last moments, 
described by Elizabeth in a letter to a friend, were highly 
edifying. As death approached, she begged to be fre-# 
quently sprinkled and blessed with holy water, and 
recommended her soul with earnestness to the prayers of 
Father Babad, to whom in great measure she attributed 
her conversion. 

Harriet Seton was buried under the spreading 
branches of an oak-tree, in a little wood, a few hundred 
yards from the house, that had been chosen for a grave- 
yard. She would have joined the community, following 
her sister Cecilia's example, as a religious, had she lived 
a few months longer; but our Lord did not permit 
this consummation of her generous sacrifice. 

The blessed inmates of St. Joseph's have, neverthe- 
less, always considered her one of their own, and her 
body reposes in the community burial-ground — the Val- 
ley premices of them that a are gone before with the sign 
of faith, and rest in the sleep of peace." 

A few weeks after Harriet's death, Elizabeth wrote 
thus to the young man to whom she had had the misfor- 
tune of being engaged. 

My Dear B., — Before this time you have, no doubt, 
heard many different accounts of the departure of our 



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beloved Harriet I know letters were written you imme- 
diately, and thought it best to wait until your mind would 
be composed before I wrote you any thing on the subject 
By your letters to her after her leaving New York, 
you appeared to be acquainted, in part, with the circum- 
stances of dear Cecily's illness, and the manner in which 
they were again re-united to me at Baltimore. From 
thence we came to the Mountain, where both Harriet and 
Cecilia soon obtained a great share of health. We were 
accustomed to walk every afternoon in the woods which 
led to the height of the mount on which we lived half- 
way up, and a little higher than our log cottage stands 
our chapel, which Harriet never entered till some time 
after we came here, but always walked in the forest with 
Anna when Cecily and I went there. Neither of us ever 
asked why she did not come in, well knowing that in her 
situation it would be imprudent in her to take any share in 
our religious exercises, but when of her own accord she did 
come in and take great delight in joining us in them, we 
surely never advised her to stay out, or showed any other 
opposition than asking her if she had considered how it 
would be thought of at home. She then, with many 
tears, related to me how completely unhappy she was in 
that home (the which I fully knew before I left New 
York) ; said she would rather die than return to it ; repre- 
sented how little hope she had of being united to you 
from the different accounts and reports she had of you 
from persons who intimately knew your situation and 
habits ; showed a letter you had written which mentioned 
the story of a young man who left his mistress, youthful 
and lovely, and was so long separated that he found her 
old and ugly, asking if she had not lost her bloom, etc., 



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which letter she burnt in great agitation, and declared 
she would make her determination forever and not separ- 
ate from Cecily and me, and by uniting herself to us she 
was sure of peace and tranquillity, at least, which was all 
she asked in this world. 

After that, Aunt Farquhar wrote her that you wished 
her to join you in the West Indies, or that you were 
coming for her, to which she replied in a manner expres- 
sive of her unchangeable affection and attachment to you, 
and that she was ready to prove it at any hour ; and, I 
believe, wrote you to the same effect, as I remember she 
was two or three days writing you and sent a very large 
package 

ELIZABETH TO JULIA SCOTT. 

27th December, 1809. 

My own Dear Julia, — I have had many heavy hours 
since I wrote you last from the extreme illness of Cecilia, 
and now from the death of my sweet and darling Harriet, 
who was the life and joy of my heart for many months 
past. Her illness has been long ; that is since she first 
complained of the sick-headache she has been long subject 
to. But sometimes better and other times worse, I had 
not the least alarm till her complaint took another turn. 

So it goes with your friends : tribulation is my ele- 
ment; if it only carries me home at last, never mind the 
present. Year after year passes — the last must come. 
Foolish and extravagant as your own friend now appears 
to you, when the scene is about to close, things will wear 
so different an aspect you would be very glad .to have been 
among the number of those who look beyond it. Our 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 75 

mountains are very black, but the meadows still green, 
and my dear ones 1 skipping upon them with the sheep, 
except poor Anna, who deeply feels the loss of her com- 
panion, friend, and adviser. They always walked, read, 
and worked together. Yet I am much reconciled to our 

loss, as her situation with B was so distressing. . . . 

She was truly an angelic girl, and her death is one of the 
hard blows destined for your friend. Yet as He pleases 
and when He pleases ; but, to be sure, when my turn comes 

I shall be very glad They tell me a hundred 

most ridiculous stories are going about relative to our 
manner of living here, but I hope you will not listen to 
them a moment if they should reach you; and believe me, 
again, when I assure you that I have true peace and com- 
fort in every way. As to sickness and death itself, if they 
come to us again, we know that they are the common 
attendants of human life, and it would be madness to be 
unhappy because we are treated like the rest of human 
beings. 



1810. — Letters. — Bounty op Rev. Mr. Cooper. — Death 
op Cecilia Seton. — Visit op Bishop Cheverus. — • 
Letters. 

elizabeth to mrs. sadler* 

Emmitsburg, 9th January, 1810. 
My Dearest Eliza, — A letter from sister Post last 
week tells me you are safe arrived and very welL A few 

1 Her two little girls, Kitty and Rebecca. 



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76 MEMOIR AND LETTER8 OF 

days before I began a letter to you, not knowing where 
it would find you ; and now I do entreat you to take the 
first stormy day when visitors are quiet, or the first hour 
of night you can bestow, to satisfy a heart that loves you 
more than you are conscious of. It is more than nine 
months since I have heard any thing direct from you. . . . 
The darlings you have so long cherished are as when I 
last wrote, full of health and innocence, except poor Anna, 
who is more than affected by the death of Harriet .... 
The different reports you may perhaps hear of our situa- 
tion, will make it doubtful what it really is ; but if you 
recollect the system of the Sisters of Charity before and 
since the Revolution in France, you will know the rule of 
our community. You may imagine my content in such a 
situation : it is almost inconceivable to myself that I pos- 
sess it Now, our chief occupation is spinning, knitting, 
etc., to obtain clothing for ourselves and the children in 
our charge, who are educated with the care the principle 
inspires on which our good Sisters act. They are truly 
good Sisters : you would be delighted with their simpli- 
city. Every occasion to visit the sick is embraced ; but 
the villages around us are not very large. Our mountain 
seems the limit of the world to us ; but beyond it, dear 

Eliza, you know we have many most dear interests 

Rev. Mr. Tisserant is not yet returned, but still expected ; 
the death of a sister in Germany has delayed him. We 
have reason to hope Mr. Tisserant will be our chaplain 
when he returns. 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



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TO MB. WEISE. 1 

Sunday night, 7 th January, 1810. 

My Friend, — Your kind letter was, as always a letter 
from you must be, very, very welcome. My not writing 
to you was, to be sure, from a very bad cause, being cross, 
sick, and lazy : but these things will happen, and you 
must forgive. Your troubles, I find, like my own, are 
multiplied ; and so will our comforts be when this dark 
night of life is over. I do not grow very strong in the 
body, yet the soul is so well at liberty that every thing 
except eternity seems but a dream. 

Be good, Mr. George, and tell your dear little wife I 
think of her and pray for her continually ; and she must 
pray that I be good, that my prayers may be accepted. 
As for you, I hope your cross may increase till it purifies 
you like pure gold ; and woe to you if, knowing so well 
how rich a treasure you have, you do not let it work its 
effect in you : as you are not sure you would be safe 
without this very one, which, I grant, is hard enough to 
bear, but might be yet harder if compared with all that is 
due to our adored Master. Tell our dearest Plre that we 
have all adopted his motto at St. Joseph's : " Well enough 
to work, bad enough to suffer ; " and are proud to share 
the cup with him. You will be anxious for Annina. Her 
situation is not dangerous for the present, I hope, but the 
complaint is very obstinate and the fever constant. Good 
Susan is recovering ; little Mary continues ill. Tell our 

' A gentleman living near the seminary in Baltimore, who had been very kind 
to Mrs. Seton; and the attentions of his excellent wife to Cecilia when she arrived 
ill, from New York, were most affectionate. 



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Y8 MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 

dearest Pdre the thought that we are always in his pray- 
ers is my greatest consolation next to the Adored. We 
are all praying for him continually. Best love to your 
dear Minon. 1 Have confidence. Never let the comparison 
of time and eternity slip an instant from your mind. I 
find this cures all sorrow. L. J. C. 2 Bent, adori. 

Your friend, 

M. E. A. Seton. 

After Anna's recovery she was invited by one of her 
mother's friends to come and stay some time with her in 
Baltimore, where her health would improve amidst the 
comforts that the rigorous season made so welcome to a 
delicate girl, and the poverty of the little community at 
St. Joseph's could by no means afford. 

From Baltimore she writes : — 

To the Dearest of Mothers : Union in Eternity with Him. 

My Most Precious Mother, — No letter! well, my 
Jesus, Thy will be done. 0 my mother, my dear mother, 
what shall I say ? all uncertainty. I know not what to 
think ; but, 0 my mother, pray, do pray for that dear 
soul. 3 I can not tell you how much I loved her : she is 
as it were the sulyect of all my prayers and sighs. Oh, 
how much I love you ! Tou are my dearest, and soul's 
dearest mother. I have a question to propose to my 
mother, and you alone shall decide. The girls are going 

1 Mrs. Weise. 

' These initials are often used by Elizabeth, who took the pious custom from 
Father Babad. They stand for Laudetur Jesus Ghristus : Praised be Jesus Christ. 
s Harriet. 



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to have an exhibition, and they wish me very much to be 
in it ; but I do not wish to have any part in it. They 
begged me very much, and still I refused. Well, they 
begged me again. At last I said : Well, whatever mother 
says. Do not you think I had better not act? but what- 
ever you say. Most precious, dear mother ! it has been a 
long time since I have received a little word from my 
mother. If you can, do write me a little word and tell 
me your opinion. 

Your ever-loving and affectionate child, 

Akna-Maria. 
J. M. J. — My Jesus, bless my mother. 

In the month of February the house at St. Joseph 
was suffering for almost the necessaries of life, but several 
good friends came forward with assistance, and chiefly 
the Kev. Mr. Cooper, who sent from Philadelphia a large 
stock of provisions and material for clothing. His char- 
ity is particularly mentioned, with gratitude, by Mrs. 
Seton, in a letter to Julia Scott. After enumerating 
some of the articles forwarded by Mr. Cooper, she says : 
"He will never let us want what he can give. We 
never see him or even thank him for his pure benevo- 
lence. Many strange beings there are in this world, 
dearest." This generous benefactor of St. Joseph's dis- 
liked to have his charitable acts alluded to, and would 
receive no acknowledgment of them : he left all to God. 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 



ELIZABETH TO MRS. SADLER. 

8th March, 1810. 
My Dear, Dear Eliza, — Both your first and second 
letter reached their destination, which I know were to my 
very heart. They have said all that could be most grate- 
ful to it. It seems to me I can see you and look within 
yours as it was while you were writing ; every article of 
furniture, plants, etc., around you, and the spot where 
each thing stood, I can bring to the mind's eye as dis- 
tinctly as if they werein view but an hour ago; even the 
features and expression of the beloved Pauline are exactly 
present. Have you this treasure of memory ? Some per- 
sons can never recollect features : all the past is confusion. 
If you have this privilege, you must often look towards 
the dear uncle's dwelling with sensations — / feel for you. 
Sweet Lord, what a being is ours ? obliged to reduce our 
aim to a simple view of the little part we fill, and in quiet 
acceptance insure tranquillity, or engage in the torrent of 
recollection which carries — oh, my Eliza, where would 
mine carry me if it was not resisted ? therefore, a tran- 
sient glance behind, with me, is quickly followed by a 
strong look upward which the mid-day sun himself can 
not repel I can not say more now without miss- 
ing this week's post. My earnest love to Craig. If ever 
you see dear Mary, try to do away the bad impressions I 
find she has of Anna. Oh, if God would ever grant that 
I should once again have an opportunity of cultivating her 
and Helen's sisterly love, how thankful I would be ! You 
know, writing them the kind of letters I should be obliged 
to write, would be nonsense ; nor have I the time. But 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



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time and patience will do something, perhaps. All I can 
say is my heart now hangs round them all more than ever. 

Soon I expect, my dear, dear, a thousand times dear 
Cecilia will take her flight. Oh, Eliza, how many strings 
draw up as well as down ! Yet my heart faints when I 
think of this separation ; no one can ever conceive what 
she is to me, but — but — -fiat. 

Dear Mary B and her lovely family — do say a 

word of them. That partiality will go with me to the 
grave, as will my true and faithful affection for you. 

TO MRS. SCOTT. 

mh March, 1810. 

My own Dear Julia, — Your account of yourself and of 
what is dear to you, is more interesting to the very soul 
of your friend than you can imagine. 

So you have been told we are all suffering, sick, etc. 
It has been so in part, but not as much so as report would 
have it. Harriet's death, while it wounded me sorely in 
one way, was easily reconciled in others. If I had an 
hour's conversation with you on her situation with the 

Farquhar family on one hand and B on the other, 

you would see that with her sweet, heavenly dispositions, 
she is just where it is best she should be, and all this 
starting of nature from death and separation is often more 
selfish than rational. Cecilia will very soon follow her — I 
think in a few months, more probably weeks. What can 
I say ? They are both far dearer to me than myself — we 
part, nature groans, for me it is an anguish that threatens 
dissolution, not in convulsive sobs, but the soul is aghast, 
petrified ; after a short while it returns to its usual state, 

voi. ii — 6 



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and all goes on as if nothing had happened. This same 
effect has followed the death of all so dear. Why, Faith 
lifts the soul, Hope supports it, Experience says it must, 



to feel her mother's fate, and mixes the attention of a 
friend with the duty of a child. How happy she is to 
learn experience at the school of a mother, there are so 
many ways of sweetening the lesson, and it makes her 
cautious and solid in her hopes ! You have given her 
completely the means of independence, and I assure you 
she acts with great propriety, and considers her little 
sisters as in her charge. The boys are very happy and 
truly good. I have enough, dearest, for this world, be 
assured. What I would now most earnestly ask would 
be to see you quietly and alone for a few hours, perhaps 
before next winter. Say yes, though they tell me it is a 
tedious journey from Philadelphia. Mr. Cooper says you 
are very well, building a new and handsome house. 
What would I consider my life if I could obtain you true 
happiness ! You know what happiness ; not that of the 
present passing hour, of course, but that which is infinite. 
Do not imagine your own friend is looking on the gloomy 
side for that soul so precious. Not so, but wishes, ardently 
wishes, that you could taste the peaceful disengagement 
which some are enjoying without being indifferent to their 
active duties. But, patience, dearest. Only be not insen- 
sible to the thousand motives we have to love the best of 
Beings, and it will grow right at last ; that is, if you will 
love. For my part I find so much contentment in this 
love, that I am obliged to think with consideration to find 
out how any one can raise his eyes to the light of heaven 
and be insensible to it I never recollect hearing 



and Love says — let it be 



Dear Anna is beginning 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



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you express any other sentiment than simple veneration, 
but I know your heart is all alive, and may be acquainted 
with a language in which it has never spoken to its friend. 
Love me dearly, as I do you. 

In the month of April Cecilia's complaint took a 
sudden and final turn. She was suffering from consump- 
tion, and it was deemed advisable to take her to Balti- 
more. Her sister-in-law accompanied her, and they 
arrived at the house of Mr. Weise on the 19th of April, 
where the invalid received many religious attentions 
which were impossible at Emmitsburg, whose single 
priest was so harassed with duties that it is a wonder 
of that missionary spirit, for which the French are dis- 
tinguished, that any man could have performed them 
alone. The good Pere 1 by whom Cecilia had been greeted 
on her arrival from New York the preceding year, now 
became her assiduous spiritual attendant. He had never, 
indeed, been heedless of her precious soul even when she 
w r as at St. Joseph's, as the following little letter received 
by her a day or two before she left it will prove. The 
original is in French. 

April \tih, 1810. 
For the Little Dove op Jesus Christ. 

Have read to you in the morning the 62d* psalm, and 
arrest your thoughts upon the Gloria Patri, as on the central 
point of our Trinity, not only, but of every thing that tends 

1 A psalm of David when he was in the desert of Edom : " 0 God, my God, to 
Thee do I watch early. 



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to God. With what transports do the saints and angels 
who see Him as He is, and face to face, repeat the heav- 
enly song of praise forever : Holy, holy, holy, and to the 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost be glory ! How His holiness, 
His justice, His greatness fills them with wonder! How 
His goodness melts them ! How His beauty does enrap- 
ture ! With what ecstatic admiration cry they put : Holy, 
holy, holy, Lord God of hosts ! and how, filled with most 
intense desire, they declare glory to the Father, to the 
Son, and to the Holy Ghost — Sicut erat in principio : as it 
was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. 

Oh ! He will, indeed, for all ages be what He has been, 
what He is : holiness itself, justice itself, goodness itself, 
mercy itself. Consider, then, with what exceeding great 
delight the blessed Spirits joy to lose themselves in the 
ocean of His infinite perfections ! Oh ! dove of Jesus 
Christ. Oh ! I hope that you will join them soon. Strive, 
then, to begin even here below those sweet acts of purest 
love which will be in heaven your eternal occupation : for 
in heaven we continue what has been on earth begun. 
The more closely a soul has been in this existence united 
to Jesus Christ, the more intimately will it abide in Him 
hereafter, to praise Him as He is worthy to be praised. 
Ah, you are truly happy, because Jesus is purifying you 
of every thing that is not His. I trust that before long 
your union with Him will be perfect ; and then, Oh, how 
you will adore ! Amen. Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui 
Sancto. 

Cecilia died in peace at Baltimore, on the 29th of 
April, and her body was brought back to St. Joseph's 
to be placed beside her sister's in the cemetery. 



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ELIZABETH TO MRS. SADLER. 

Emmitsburg, 6th May, 1810. 
My Own Dear Eliza, — I have just returned from 
Baltimore where I had carried the darling Cecilia, with a 
distant hope that she might be benefited by the ride, 
change of air, and consultation of physicians ; but He said 
no, and that is enough. A happier, more consoling depar- 
ture than she took you can not imagine. She was inno- 
cence and peace itself. The precious sisters lie in a wood 
inclosed hard by our dwelling. Every day the hands of 
affection and love do something to adorn the saqred soli- 
tude The mother has made a great sacrifice, 

and Anna remains in Baltimore for a time with a tried 
friend and most excellent woman, Mrs. R. Barry, part of 
the family we loved in New York. She is a European, 
and will and does keep her always under her own eye. 
Anna has a very great desire to improve herself in draw- 
ing, and will always be busy, so that I can not be uneasy 
for her; besides, her modesty and reserve are truly 
angelic. 

Anna Seton had been engaged since the spring of 
1809, to a young gentleman from one of the French West 
India Islands, who had been educated at Saint Mary's 
College. Her mother, in a letter of March, 1810, to a 
friend in New York, thus writes of Charles du Pavilion : 

" Can you think, then, that the sad stories of my dear 
and precious Anna are true ? Indeed, not one sentence 
more than I now tell you. She contracted a strong affec- 
tion with a young gentleman in Baltimore, and endeavored 



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86 MEMOIR AND LETTERS OP 

to obtain my sanction to their affection. This was not 
very difficult, as I knew more of him than she did herself, 
through Mr. Babad, my friend, who is also his, and had 
always wished Anna might be so fortunate as to gain his 
affection in the way she has, which seems to be solid and 
sincere. His fortune is very large and his education of 
the first kind, with superior talents ; his family, only a 
very tender mother, who resides in Guadaloupe, and I am 
told is very amiable. So stands the affair : so much and 
no more. They had one interview in my presence, and I 
brought her away with me 1 where she is very well con- 
tented, waiting for the event with a good grace, as she has 
sense to know his sincerity is best tried by absence, and 
that she is yet too young to enter into so serious an 
engagement. He graduated last month, and still lives 
with the superior of the college until he joins his mother 
to make the proper arrangements. I have no reproach to 
make myself, for it is impossible a child could be more 
strictly watched or carefully advised than my Annina. 
He writes always inclosed to me, unsealed. Now, I can do 
no more than commit all to the Adored." 2 

Poor Anna was but human, indeed ; yet the following 
letters lay open a simple heart, and show the sweet love 
with which she clung to her mother. 

1 To St. Joseph's. 

1 Elizabeth was very much distressed at Anna's affair, as she says in a letter to 
a more intimate friend. Her daughter discovered before she died how deeply Bhe 
had grieved her mother's heart, and all her last letters betray in their sad expressions 
of love a suspicion of having in some manner disappointed hopes, that she 
was superior to sentiments which must draw her into the world. It had long 
been a wish of Elizabeth's soul that she might some time say to her eldest daughter : 
44 1 have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to 
Christ."— 2 Cor. xL 2. 



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ELIZABETH 8 ETON. 



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FROM AKNA. 



Baltimore, Saturday, 5th of May, 1810. 

Dearest and Best of Mothers, — Could you know how 
much, already, I long to see you, and I know you are as anx- 
ious to hear from poor little Annina. I heard by Mrs. Burk, 
who reached here the day before yesterday, that you 
arrived safe. I was, though, a little disappointed at not 
receiving a word, yet I knew you could not write. The 
3d, 1 I know you remembered me. I went to the seminary, 
to our dear father, 2 to receive from his hands our Adored. 
He dined with us, and Charles also. I send you one of 
the little flowers blessed and presented to your dear An- 
nina by our father. 

To-morrow Charles leaves Baltimore. He has been 
here these two days successively, and will be here again 
this evening. Father has spoken to him the other day 
— about you know what — and seems very well satisfied 
with his explanation. I have received an explanation of 
what I wished — very satisfactory. 

Do not think, beloved mother, my love blinds me. 
No ; it is, I hope, guided by a submission as much as is 
in my power to our dearest Lord's will Mrs. Barry is, 
as father calls her, a second mother. He says you (best 
of mothers) are more for my spirit ; I, poor profane I, 
want a worldly one, though our dear Mrs. Barry is very 
domestic. She has been this some time unable to go out 
of doors by the rheumatism. She desires to be affection- 

1 Anna's birthday. * Babad. 



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ately ^remembered to you. It rained very hard the day 
father dined with us. He can never speak of the death 
of our beloved CScile but with joy. Oh ! my mother, here 
in this wide and spacious city there are scarce any appear 
to strive to attain that blissful haven for which they were 
created — perhaps I am among the number. 

I have not yet seen the drawing-master, but I hope to 
begin next week. The bishop has been here twice since 
you left us; all kindness, as you know. I have not 

seen Mrs. Burk, yet she stays at M 's ; but I do not 

like to go there. My excuse is always I don't go out any- 
where, which is true enough, except to church. Wednes- 
day there was a review. The children of Mrs. Barry 
wanted to go and see the soldiers pass. I must confess 
I had a part in the wish, as we were going to Renaudet's, 
though not for the same reason. Charles had been here 
the evening before, and I had a hope of seeing him at 
Maria's. We staid a little while, and Mrs. Barry asked 
him to dine with us the 3d, which he did. Dearest 
mother, write to me as often as you can. I long to hear 
from you. Remember me at the graves of our dearest 
angels ; when you say beads there pray for me that your 
daughter may not go unprepared. Oh! my mother, I 
hope not. I called at Weise's the other morning, as I 
knew you wished I should, but I did not see anybody, as 
it was early. I heard our father's half-past six mass. 
Do not forget to remember me very affectionately to Mr. 

Dubois, and to the Sisters separately Dearest 

mother, write me all your joys and sorrows : you know, 
when you pressed me to your breast, you called me your 
" little friend." You may, I assure you, depend on your 
Annina. . . . Crosses and sorrows are the way to 



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heaven. I have not yet my share. He who sends them 
will not give above the strength. I have not yet tasted. 
Yes, this is Saturday, another week ; how the time flies. 
"When I knelt down this morning to say my prayers, 
though I did not know the hour, yet I thought of you ; 
and at mass with father I was with you. Tell Susan and 
V^ronique to write a few words now and then to me. 
Give all my best love, and kisses in plenty to the four, 
dear Kate and Becca, dear William and Richard; you 
know better than I can pen what I wish to say to them. 
All, all remember Annina in your prayers. Love and 
pray for me, my dearest mother. 'Tis He gives and He 
takes away : BSnissez le Seigneur. 

Monday, 7th May, 1810. 
Dearest, Dear Mother, — Father had forgotten to give 
me the first letter till just now. Yesterday I was, to be 
sure, excessively disappointed at not receiving any by Mrs. 
Burk, but the mistake is cleared. I wrote to you on Sat- 
urday, and sent it yesterday in the morning to Weise's. 

Charles did not go yesterday, as we expected. 

Something about the sailors and their pay, so he does not 
start till to-morrow. It was a fine, fair wind yesterday, 
and as he did not come on Saturday, as I expected, I 
took it for granted he had sailed in the morning ; when, 
just towards dusk, standing by the street door, as I was 
thinking of him, he stood before me. You may be sure I 
was very much astonished, as well as Mrs. Barry — said 
we thought him soon returned, not in earnest though . . . . 
Dearest Pere, his heart was full, and he pronounced over 
me the prayers and blessing he says over you. I send a 
copy, for I have another for myself. Mrs. Barry is all 



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kindness. She sends plenty of love and kisses to Kate, 
Becca, et la Mere — oh ! I must not forget, to Susan too. 

The tops of the houses blackened by the rain, and two 
or three poplars shining in the sun is the present prospect 
from the little window of my room, where I now sit; not 
like the wide expanse of heaven from the great window of 
St. Joseph's — the beautiful view of the mountain. How 
happy we might be when the mind is at ease. Dearest, 
darling mother, this is a wide world, and we are but little 

people The pain in my side has entirely left me, 

so may your pain in the breast. I shall write you when 
Charles goes, he seems in high favor with father. I have 
written two or three words to Veronique. Tell Susan to 
love me always, and take care of my poor little cabinet in 

the bustle, and don't let the people plaster it 

Now, dearest mother, I have told you all the nonsense that 
I had in my head, and made it a little lighter. I beg you 
to pray, pray, for the prayers of the just shall save the 
sinner. 

Tuesday, 8th May, 1810. 

Best and Dearest of Mothers, — Mrs. Burk did not go, 
as I expected, to-day. To-morrow she goes, I must write 
again. 

This morning at four o'clock Charles left Baltimore. 
He is at last gone ; well, so be it. Last night till nine he 
was here ; very kind. You know I felt it, but when he 
pressed my hand for the last time, I could scarcely con- 
tain — yet I did. Yes, mother, I did not shed a tear, but 
my heart did. Could I help it ? Perhaps he will write 
by the pilot He goes to St. Bartholomew's, from thence 
to Guadaloupe. 



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You will, most probably by Mrs. Burk, receive three 
letters from your Annina. I wish you joy on your rule, 
perhaps I have need of one, and the retreat. You per- 
ceive I have seen your letter to Mr. Weise I 

send in this a little " Invocation to Hope" which I think is 
pretty, and if it is not wrong for nuns to read profane 
pieces, will my beloved mother peruse it for the sake of 
the hope that rests in the bosom of her daughter? Our 
Almighty Father will direct all for the best, and I leave 
it with resignation to Him. I went this morning to mass 
at the seminary, to offer it for him, it was Father David's. 

Here I stand, another year, perhaps two. It is 

a distressing thought. But I must hide that from you. 
Love me, my mother, more than ever. I try to please 
you. I do, perhaps ; 1 know I do. 

My mother, your loving daughter, 

Annina. 

TO SUSAN. 

My Sister " Sus," — I begin, dear Susan, by giving you 
father s blessing, that's the most valuable part of my letter, 
and I do sincerely hope it will enable you to fulfill the 
task of giving tasks — you understand, and to keep silence 
during the retreat; and, again, to keep your rule as strictly 
as possible. Therefore, do not read this till recreation. 
You must take care of all my treasures, send me all my 
demands, etc., and love me more absent than present. Will 
you ? You practice obedience, remember. You perceive 
I am wilder than ever. I must follow the example of 
Mere, the more trouble I have, the better contented. Tell 
Sister Bridget or the unknown, that though I have not the 



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supreme honor of being acquainted with her, yet all the 
Sisters are mine — so. my best love to my unknown Sister 
Bridget, and to all the little pigeons you are teaching to 
say ABC. 

Wednesday, 23rf May, 1810. 
Beloved, Dear Mother, — Again I must write. Already 
it seems a long time since I heard from you. Joseph came 
and delivered the letters himself to me last Thursday. 
How many tears, my beloved mother, I shed over them. 
Yes, how I longed to be with the dear writers. Already, 
my dearest mother, am I tired of Baltimore, I wish to be 

with you again, I can not be happy here Here I 

must hush, I must stifle my grief, there I can indulge it, 
in part at least. You will excuse all my extravagance, 
my beloved mother ; remember, you are the only person to 
whom I can speak my thoughts, therefore excuse. Mon- 
day I received news by the pilot — two letters, I wish I 
could send them to you. If this went not by post, I 
would. He does not speak of you ; yet I trust, best of 
mothers, he thinks. He does not forget our dear Pere. 
It appears they sprung a leak and landed on the coast of 
Virginia. His last dated the 15th, but then doubling Cape 
Henry, though he left this the 8th. I fear they will have 
a long passage. So be it. Pere was here yesterday ; I 
was out. 

We went to that famous spot, on the road as you go 
up to father's paradise, as he calls it, where Madeleine* my 
mother, 1 etc. ! ! ! you recollect. How foolish I am, yet I 
can not but remember — at once deprived of all three. 
Pere will be here, I expect, some time to-day. He will 

1 Alludes to her mother's meeting Harriet and Cecilia arriyed from New York. 



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send in this effusion of — what? his blessing to sanctify 
what needs sanctification. Kiss, bless, and love my dear 
sisters, and William and Richard. When I was with them, 
I knew not how to love them as I ought, now we are sep- 
arated " When the storm of life is past, oh, receive 

my soul at last." I often sing that and think — your storms 
will soon be over, mine are still to commence. I may fall. 
I am, best of mothers, just at present in a very gloomy 
strain, so I fear this will be a very dull letter for you. 
Mrs. Barry, the dear children, and Betsey, send their love 
to you. Mine you always have, therefore I can not send 
it. John Scott has been in town these ten days. He 
tried very much to persuade me to go to Philadelphia for 
a couple of weeks in the country, but I would not consent, 
as I knew you did not wish it, and I preferred living in 
Emmitsburg. He desired me (as he will not now go up to 
see you, since I will not go with him ; he intended, if I 
had consented, to have gone and asked your permission) 
to remember him to you, the Catons also, and Miss E. 
Welch, whom I saw in church. Her brother is married to 
a young lady of Philadelphia, as rich as himself. Emily 
and Mrs. Patterson pressed me very much to go and dine 
with them on Sunday, but I persisted in the refusal. 
John Scott dined there. I wish to ask you to send for 
me, I wish to see you and to regain my liberty. You 
must judge. Never forget to remember me respectfully to 
Mr. Dubois. 

I must tell you the news, I suppose, if you have not 
heard it already, that the tyrant Bonaparte is married to a 
young Austrian princess. She is described in the Gazette 
as a most beautiful creature, but I fear she will but too 
soon repent of her imprudence, for he is a second Henry 



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94 MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 

the Eighth. Maria Louisa is her name. What! am I 
telling the news to the nuns ? But it is in recreation, it is 
all right. 

Love, best of mothers, and pray for your pauvre petite 
mechante fille. 

Annina. 

30^ May, 1810. 
Dear Mere, — It has been very long since I have heard 
from you. I have written twice by post, but there is no 
certainty whether you have as yet received the letters. 
Baltimore is a desert to me. I wish very much to see 
you. I wish, dearest of mothers, to be with you. I hope 
by this time Charles is in Guadaloupe. Phre read his 
letter and seemed very much pleased — though in appear- 
ance more with me than with him. To-morrow is Ascen- 
sion-day, and I am going to communion. Oh, my mother, 
pray for me when you receive this, though it will then be 
passed. I am always in need of your prayers. Tou know 
I am no longer the nun. I am much worse than I ever 
was, and you know I was always a wicked piece of furni- 
ture I believe, dearest mother, there are ifs and 

buts in every thing. Tell me, my beloved mother, all 
about St. Joseph's. I love it better now than I did formerly. 

Pere does not come as often as usual, he has a 

great deal to do. To-day they are preparing a number of 
children for first communion to-morrow. I can not help 
pitying him, sometimes, walking in the heat of the day to 
the Point. 1 

In about four or five weeks I may expect to hear 
from Guadaloupe You are, my best of mothers, 

1 Saint Patrick's church, on Fell's Point 



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quite reconciled, indeed, happy now ; but would you not 
be happier to see your dear Annina sitting by you in the 
delightful task of teaching her little class, instead of sitting 
here all day, doing nothing, perhaps, but some foolish 

piece of work or reading a little French Dearest, 

best of mothers, love and pray for your poor Anniila. I 
love you more than you imagine. May He who called the 
heavy laden and died for sinners have mercy. Your own 

Annina. 

elizabeth to mrs. sadler. 

Monday, 27th May, 1810. 

My Own Dear Eliza, If you could breathe 

our mountain air and taste the repose of the deep woods 
and streams ! Yesterday we all, about twenty Sisters and 
children, dined in our grotto in the mountain, where we 
go on Sunday for the divine office. Richard joined his 
mother s side, but William contented himself with a wave 
of his hat and a promise of seeing me afterwards ; and 
going home he followed in a part of the wood where he 
would not be seen, and gave such expressions of love and 
tenderness as can come only from the soul, but always 
unobserved, and never forfeiting his character of being a 
man. They are two beings as different as sun and moon ; 
but William most interests poor mother. In the afternoon 
catechism he was asked if his business in this world was 
to make money and gain reputation, or to serve God and 
use all his endeavors to please Him. " My business, sir, 
is to do both," answered William, with a tone of decision. 
But I forget, time flies and I have taken up half a sheet 
with these trifles A thousand, thousand loves 



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96 MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 

and benedictions be with you, dear Eliza. My heart feels 
as bright as the sun now setting. 

TO JULIA SCOTT. 

30th May, 1810. 
My Own Dear Julia, — What is your conclusion ? That 
this world is a changing, passing scene ? To be sure, 
dearest, and happy they who can quit it as my Cecily has 
done, so peaceful and contented that when the last sad 

silence came it was more like sleep than death 

Annina was left in Baltimore with Mrs. Robert Barry, who 
is kindness personified and a truly amiable woman. It 
was a very interesting moment for the poor child, as her 
much loved was on the point of departure to his own coun- 
try, in order to arrange his affairs for — our Lord only 
knows whether their reunion or separation. I have given 
the whole business up to that dear Lord who has indulged 

me so much L and E C were often 

with us. L once said : " Come, Anna, stay with us, 

we will get a much better match for you. You don't 
know the enchantment of cockades and epaulets," etc. Oh, 
how my mother's heart felt ! We are poor, and let us be 
so, but free from such ideas of happiness. Poor, poor 

L , how she is to be pitied, but we can not change her. 

..... Now tell me about yourself. I used always to 
be fearing sickness, accidents, etc., when you were so long 
silent; but now they say you are so well and strong. 
Yet well and strong may change quickly, too, like every 
thing else. Tell me, dearest, how indeed are you, and 
Charlotte, and brother ; but, above all, most dear Maria. 
There is a most lovely girl (Eleanor Smith, of Frederick- 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



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town) in my charge, about sixteen, but so like Maria that 
she took my heart the moment she lifted her eyes upon 
me, and many a time I think of Maria while giving her 
her daily instruction. I have four of them, the same age, 
as boarders, and many are daily applying. 

TO MRS. DUPLEX. 

4th Jwie, 1810. 
My Own Dear Duplex, — Never let it enter your 
thoughts that time, absence, or all your carelessness in 
writing, can change, even in degree, a love, a friendship 
of my soul which for so many years has made yours as a 
part of my own. I wished you to have written, but can 
well excuse you, knowing your habitual dislike to letter 

writing We have a new and handsome house 

just built on a very large farm, half covered with woods ; 
high mountains all one side of it, and meadows below. 
Our chapel joins the house, and the parish pastor comes 
every morning at six to say mass. At eight work begins, 
and at five is finished. The darling boys are in a branch 
of the Baltimore College, half way up the mountain, and 
well taken care of in every way. Without partiality, 
they are two as sweet fellows in looks, manners, and dis- 
position as poor mother's heart could wish. Richard — 
always mother's boy — all his desire centers in a farm that 
he may never quit her. William is the boy of hopes and 
fears. Reading some lines in an almanac the other day 
of the whistling of a sea boy in the main-top shrouds : 
"That's your sort," he cried, "I'm your man;" and 
always talks of roving the world, but yet has great ideas 
of being a gentleman in every thing, without knowing 

VOL. IL — 1 



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that a gentleman without a penny is but a name. 1 How- 
ever, as his gentleman-notions make him a fine fellow, I 
trust it will all turn out well, for a more loving and tender 
heart can not be imagined. The talents of neither of them 
are distinguished, which does not disappoint me, knowing 
well they often ruin their owners. Kitty is only less 
than an angel in looks and every qualification ; she rules 
books, sets copies, hears lessons, and conducts herself 
with such grace that girls twice her age show her the 
greatest respect. But what is truly funny is to see Bee, 
with a little class of six or eight children, holding up 
her finger in silence, with her pen and ink giving them 
good points or crosses, and keeping better order than her 
mother can. Her oldest is her own age, but Bee is a 
woman to her. And my Annina — my poor Annina — so 
young, so lovely, so innocent, absorbed in all the romance 
of youthful passion. She gave her heart, and afterwards 
what could a doating and unhappy mother do but take 
the part of a friend and confidant, dissembling my distress, 
and resolving that if there was no remedy, to help her, at 
least, by my love and pity. I found her case incurable ; 
nor do I yet know if there will be any cause for repent- 

1 Yet a gentleman of blood and coat-armor as he, albeit penniless, was richer 
than another who, not one, should have "the wealth of Ormus and of Ind." Sir 
Alexander Seton, of Foulstruther (who became Earl of Eglinton), is reported to have 
had two standing prayers in his family, one of which was : " God send us some 
money, for they are little thought of that want it" But he was a fierce and an odd 
specimen of the race. Having turned off his chaplain, he used to say public prayers 
himself, and being a logical Protestant, he interpreted the Bible after his own fash- 
ion, and the way he acted upon this very elastic private interpretation principle gain- 
ed for him the nickname of Gray-steel, the suitableness of which is understood from 
his other standing petition at public prayers in the family, a grimly blasphemous para- 
phrase of the lead us not into temptation : " God keep ill geer out of my hands, for if my 
hands once get it, my heart will never part with it" — From Kelly's Scottish Proverbs, 
p. 113, in a note to the Preface of The Genealogy of the House and Surname of Setoun. 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



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ance, as her favorite has good talents and a handsome 
independence — it is said immense wealth; but I never 
inquired much about it. He is now on his passage to 
Guadaloupe to endeavor to arrange his affairs and her 
poor little soul (you may imagine) is tossed by all the 
hopes and fears. He has appointed six or eight months 
for his return ; but if it will ever be, who can tell ? He 
has been well educated, and is possessed of good princi- 
ples ; but there is great danger, certainly. I always look 
directly upwards. Dearest Harriet and my angel Cecily 
sleep in the wood close beside me. The children and 
many of our good Sisters, to whom they were much 
attached, have planted their graves with wild flowers, and 
the little inclosure which contains them is the dearest 
spot to me on earth. I do not miss them half as much as 
you would think, as according to my mad notions 1 it seems 
as though they are always around me — at all events sepa- 
ration will not be long. 

Dearest, dear friend, farewell 

ANNA TO HER MOTHER. 

Baltimore, 10th June, 1810, Sunday Afternoon. 
Dearest, Dear Mother, — I think Father Trappist, 2 the 

1 Mrs. Duplex waB yet a Protestant 

3 Some Trappist monks, after unsuccessful attempts to plant their Order in the 
West, were hospitably received by the holy French priest Francois Moranville (a 
great friend, soit dit en passant, of Mrs. Seton), who served the Mission of Fell's 
Point at Baltimore, and under whose protection they remained until they removed, 
in 1814, to New York. When it was finally determined to return to Europe, sev- 
eral Trappist nuns, having been freed from their religious obligations to the Order, 
united themselves to the Sisters of Charity at Emraitsburg. Considerable light is 
thrown upon these good women in a number of very interesting letters from Mr. 
Moranville' to Mother (then sister) Elizabeth Boyle, which I was kindly permitted to 
copy by the late Father Madden, of Madison, N. J., in whose possession they were. 



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person I send this by, is determined he will take enough 
letters to you. This morning I went to receive our 
Adored. About a quarter before seven I was in the 
bishop's chapel — I suppose about the same time my 
mother and the dear ones were receiving — I was saying 
the Litany of Jesus; I hoped it was about that time. 
The bishop said high mass ; our dearest father s was either 
at the Point or seminary, I don't know at which, though 
he always says high mass at the bishop's on Sunday, and 
I believe will to-morrow. Remember me on Corpus 
Christi — but I know you will. Oh ! my mother, if you 
could but see this little heart, how it flutters for joy at 
the idea of being once more with you. There is a Mrs. 
Caten, father told me of, going to Emmitsburg the 1st of 
July ; he thinks it will be a better opportunity for me to 
go by than the other one I spoke of. We have had inces- 
sant rain these two days past, and have had large fires all 
over the house. That has detained Father Trappist, I 
suppose. Oh, I hope soon to be with you, but I submit 
all to our Lord. I wish it was possible to hear from 
pauvre Charles before I go — but that too in conformity 
to His adored will. Mr. Barry tells me to inform your 
mothership that he has received your letter, and will do 
all he can, and will write you when he has succeeded. 
The bishop told me, as a secret though, and you will keep 
it such, that you would probably be down in the fall 
again, and still more probably that you would not go back. 
At least, he said, you would be down before October with 
a few — I hope he means father's— children. Yet, dearest 
mother, let me come to you. Tell the dear boys I wish 
to see them very much ; you know, even if you were sure 
of coming down, I must go to see them. You know Bal- 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 101 

timore is not so attractive to Annina as it used to be. . . . 
I saw a gentleman yesterday who, when I was made 
known as Miss Seton, said he knew my father who mar- 
ried Mr. Curzon's daughter; I knew then he did not 
mean my father, but my grandfather. He said he sup- 
posed I could not have been born then, as it was thirty- 
six or seven years ago, and he supposed I was not 
so old. A good joke : I could not help laughing. Mrs. 
Barry desires to be remembered to you, as also Betsey 
and the Renaudets — I saw Mary on Sunday. As for 
father, blessings is all he sends. 'Twas all he gave, 'twas 
all he had to give. What can I say to you, dearest of 
mothers, but the old story that I love you most dearly ? 
Give my best love to V6ronique, to our Susan, and little 
May Rose : you know what to tell them. I declare I 
never thought that those sisters could have clung so 
tightly to this little stony heart ; but I believe the val- 
ley heat can melt it down, not to pure gold, but to pure 
lead. 

Love, dear beloved mother, and pray for your own 
dear, wicked, loving, hoping, ever the same, 

Anna-Maria. 

words of annina in a letter to a friend. 

l§th July, 1810. 
How often, at the foot of that altar dedicated to the 
queen of purity, I have prostrated myself to implore her 
for purity of soul, — to make me virtuous, — to reform my 
heart of stone, — to kindle in it the fire of divine love, — to 
teach it to praise its all-beautiful and merciful God . . . 
. . Life is frail and of very short duration, but let us fix 



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our hope in Heaven. There, souls which were united here 
will part no more ; there we will be purified ; there behold 
forever the Lord we love. He is as a fire ever burning in 
the very center of our souls, yet are we cold because we 
do not stay by it — Oh, our Jesus ! when ? 

ELIZABETH TO JULIA SCOTT. 

July 20*A, 1810. 

The situation I am in, as I have told you 

before, is all I could even imagine in the world most con- 
genial to my disposition, sentiments, and views of peace : 
enjoying the liberty of solitude and country life with every 
advantage of mental occupation. The thought of living 
out of our valley would seem impossible if I belonged to 
myself; but the dear ones have the first claim, which must 
ever remain inviolate : consequently, if at any period the 
duties I am engaged in should interfere with those I owe 
to them, I have solemnly pledged to our good Bishop 
Carroll, as well as to my own conscience, to give the 
children their right, and to prefer their advantage in every 

thing When I have seen my Anna in danger 

of death, I felt a sensation of joy mixed with the mother's 
pangs ; rejoicing in her innocence and anticipating the 
pressure of human misery. I am for sending my rose- 
buds to blow in heaven. You, looking over the sharp 
thorns which will grow on the rising stem, think more of 
the odor they exhale in your bosom. Ungenerous, selfish 
little mother, when will you grow wise ? 

Emily Caton wrote me dear Maria had been ill ; and I 
am afraid they have written to you what they expressed to 
me — that they considered my situation a hardship and 



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ELIZABETH 8ET0N. 103 

continual fatigue ; but, my own Julia, take the sacred word 
of your friend that it is not so. On the contrary, every 
person in the house watches even my eye to hinder me 
making the least exertion, and all my wants are supplied 
with the kindest attention. 

The little fairy is then on fairy-hill ! 1 — Oh, Glorianna, 
could I meet you there ! — but that pleasure could be pur- 
chased only by many pains, for, except the joy of seeing 
you and yours, I would rather go to the shades of death 
than to Philadelphia or New York. Tell your darling 
Maria, Anna is not now in a state of mind to enjoy 
society. Quiet, silent, and always reflective, if not melan- 
choly, she has no pleasure but in her work or piano. 2 
Charles has conveyed two letters to her, already, expres- 
sive of the romance of his age ; but never could I believe 
what he says in both of them, that she had not given him 
the least proof of her affection : — " Anna, you always re- 
fused me, and I respected your delicacy ; but at the last 
moment — when I left you, perhaps for a watery grave — 
could you continue to refuse me one single kiss ? one only 
proof that I was dear to you ? The remembrance that 
you persisted in doing so is a continual cloud of sorrow/ ' 
This language is trifling ; — but to me the music of heaven : 
— that my darling should have had the virtue and purity 
of an angel in the first dawn of youthful and ardent affec- 
tion is a joy to her mother, which her mother only can 
know. 

Emily C. writes me some extravagant story of John 8 
(she knows how I love him) about a connection he is in 
danger of — money, without qualifications, etc. I hope and 

1 In the " new and handsome house," of which in a former letter. 
• She had returned to St Joseph's. 1 Julia's son. 



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pray it is not so. So write me about him, and all that 
interests you, love. 

So you are growing old ! Poc little darling: — truly, 
to be old and young, too, must be ^ very troublesome 
business. Oh, do, do consider, my Julia p^zSe will come 
— you can not send Him back. ^ 

s 

The bulls of the bishops appointed by the Sovereign 
Pontiff to the sees of Philadelphia, Boston, and Bards- 
town, and which had been delayed by the untimely death 
of Bishop Concanen, were received in the fall of the year 
1810. The Abb6 Cheverus was consecrated at Baltimore 
on the first of November following, and before returning 
North he paid a visit to Emmitsburg, where he saw Mrs. 
Seton for the first time, although he had had so much to do 
with her conversion, and, by determining her to remove 
from New York to Baltimore, with the establishment of 
St. Joseph's. 

REV. MR. DUBOIS TO MRS. SETON. 

Not having been well, I decline going to attend our 
venerable bishop to your house, quite assured that you 
can dispense with my presence. 

Respecting communion to-morrow, you are at liberty 
to do what you please : whether you have church at home 
or come here. I have no doubt that Bishop Cheverus 
would most cheerfully agree to stay and to officiate for us 
on Sunday next, if you could only prevail upon Bishop 1 
Egan to give up the prior, but not very essential, claim he 

1 Of Philadelphia. 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 105 

has to the company of Mr. Cheverus, whom I might send 
to Conewago next Monday. Exert all your insinuating 
eloquence upon the old bishop — it will have a good effect, 
if it has half the influence which it has on your devoted 
friend and servant, 

J. D. 

Before Bishop Cheverus left St. Joseph's, Elizabeth 
asked him to accept a letter of introduction to her friend 
Mrs. Sadler in New York. 

TO MRS. SADLER. 

Mv. 2Ut, 1810. 
My Own Dear Eliza, — It will please you to see our 
blessed Cheverus, because he carries your friend and the 
darlings in his very heart, and we love him with a senti- 
ment not easily described, but which you may very well 
imagine who can conceive what kind of ideas we attach to 
him, 1 independently of his uncommonly amiable manners and 
his being the most cher confrere of our valued Mr. Tisse- 
rant, who has the advantage exteriorly, but not in the 
spirit of the mind. Look at his purple ring 2 and reflect 
how often we kissed it, and if you have the happiness to 
hear him preach you will participate in the consolation I 
have greatly wished you to enjoy. Yet everybody has 
differently colored eyes and different ears on such occa- 
sions, and perhaps — perhaps, ours may not agree. 

1 As a bishop in the Church of God. 

* A sapphire. The mystical signification of this color in an Episcopal ring is 
said, by Pope Innocent III., to be Hope. — CanceUieri ; sopra VorigvM e Fuso deU 'AneUo 
Peacatorio, etc, p. 23. How much reason the saintly bishop had to look forward 
with confidence to the future of the church in his vast diocese, which comprised the 
whole of New England, is very manifest at this day. 



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I do not take this excellent occasion to send the book, 
because I positively expect to see you next summer. It 
is certain that this so much wished for favor is in the 
power of Him who grants me so many others, and I ask it 
of Him with confidence, that you, with our Duplex, will 
come to the mountain and see your poor friend before she 
is called, not that I believe the time so short, but, still, 
my views are all beyond. 

The excellent Bishop Cheverus made the same good 
impression upon both Protestants and Catholics in New 
York that he had already, as a simple priest, in Boston. 
Mrs. Sadler, writing back to Elizabeth, says that he gave 
a Confirmation on Sunday to many, and afterwards ex- 
horted them in French and English. " He is spoken of 
by her as having " all that ease and simplicity so much 
admired in so dignified a character." Without exaggera- 
tion may be said of him what JEneas Sylvius of Cardinal 1 
Julian Cesarini : — 

" He was a noble person and worthy whom we admire, 
one in whom it was difficult to say whether his doctrine 
or his eloquence were greater. Pleasing was the appear- 
ance of the man, gentle his manners, pure his conduct at 
every time of life. Zealous for religion, not aught did he 
desire but for Christ — if for Him, even death was wel- 
come," 

1 The application is perfect even in the dignity, for the bishop was later exalted 
to the Roman purple. 



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A FRIEND TO ELIZABETH. 

Baltimore, December 25th, 1810. 

My Ever Dear Mother, — Having just returned from 
St. Mary's, where I heard six masses, at which I did not 
forget the dear mother and inhabitants of St, Joseph, I 
will spend part of the day in writing to my " Mountain 
Mother," as you style her. Bishop Flaget 1 gave us high 
mass and sermon this morning at four o'clock. The church 
was so crowded that a great many were outside the doors. 
I have neglected writing to you before, not knowing of an 
opportunity. My dear father charged me on the day he 
sailed, when I went to see him for the last time, to write 
you his farewell and blessing, to say every thing an affec- 
tionate father could say to a dear child, and to recommend 
himself to your prayers. He left Baltimore the 28th 
November, and was detained in Hampton Roads until the 
8th of December by contrary winds. Every evening since 
he went away, I say one pair of beads for him, and I want 
you, as ye say three pair every day, to offer one for that 
dear father in union with mine ; that what my unworthi- 
ness can not obtain, may be granted to your united en- 
deavors. Do not refuse me. 

Your letter gave me pain. I can perceive by it that 
your health is declining, and I am afraid you are too indif- 
ferent about it. Pardon my freedom, it springs from true 
friendship. Consider your precious children. Alas, no 
one could supply your loss. Do, then, be more solicitous 
about your health, even if it were for their sakes alone. 

> Of Bardstown, Ky. The Episcopal See has sinoe been transferred to Louisville 
in the same State. 



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I purpose paying a little visit to Father Babad. I have 
looked every day this week for him to call, but I know 
not how it is, he has never called once. It is strange, as 
he frequently calls on his way to the poor-house. When I 

return I will finish my letter. 1 have returned without 

seeing him. The holydays have rendered him invisible, 
except at the altar, where I see him every day. 

27th, St. John's Day. 
At last I have seen him, and was almost tempted to 
scold. He read me a charming panegyric on the beloved 
disciple of our Adored. I was tempted to wish for you- 
But, apropos, that is a pleasure I soon expect. He has 
just informed me that it is our dear bishop's intention to 
send for you on the arrival of Mrs. Barry (who at present 
is in New York) at Baltimore. Then, oh, then, I shall 
see my dearest mother. Oh, that I could return with her, 
and remain with her forever. As to the idea of sending 
Sisters to Kentucky, I know not where it originated. Your 
superior dined with us last week at Madame Moreau's 
academy, being invited there to attend the public exami- 
nation of the scholars. He came after dinner and sat 
beside me. The conversation turned on Emmitsburg. I 
asked him if it was his intention, he answered no, that at 
present it was impracticable. Perhaps, hereafter, when he 
becomes acquainted with that country, and finds that such 
a thing might be effected, he will then endeavor to have a 
Sisterhood there ; but I believe from what he said that 
day, he will try to establish one here first. If such a 
thing do take place, it will be for the sick alone — no school. 
He did not speak of establishing one here as being deter- 
mined ; it is as yet undecided. I did not give him to 



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understand I had heard any thing of sending Sisters to 
Kentucky. My letter resembles a journal more than a 
letter ; but no matter what form, it will be acceptable to 
you. Pere assures me he never enjoyed better health 
these twenty-five years past than he does at present. He 
may feel better, but he still looks the same thin, emaciated 
figure as ever. The report of a Sisterhood being estab- 
lished in Baltimore gains ground. Mr. Fenwyck has 
arrived here to take charge of St Peter's church and flock. 
Mr. O'Brien goes in a few days to New York, but returns 
here, I believe, in a few months. Our dear archbishop 
has received accounts which can be relied on, that our 
head pastor, Pope Pius, was in perfect health about the 
middle of September last, but still in confinement. This 
day commences another year, and completes my twenty- 
third. 

Jcmuwry, 1811. 
I have just heard that Mrs. Barry is in town at Colonel 
Howard's. Kiss my sweet Rebecca and Josephine for 
me. My love to Anna; Pere often speaks of her. I have 
been in daily expectation of an opportunity, none has 
occurred till now. Pray for your poor child, 

m. c. a. 

Postscript of Father Babad — under the word Anna. 

" I never lose sight of her. No letter from . Such 

was the case with dear Harriet before her deliverance. 
Such a disappointment contributed not a little to hasten 
and accomplish her true and eternal gratification." 



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1811-1812. — Letters. — Coitftrmation of the Rules 
of the Sisters of Charity.— Illness of Annina 
Seton. — Journal of Elizabeth. — Annina makes 
her Vows and dies a Religious Member of 
the Community. — Letters. — Mr. BrutIs. — On the 
Mountain. — In the Valley. — Death of Sister 
Maria Murphy. 

MRS. SETON TO GEORGE WMSE. 

Jan. 15^, 1811. 
Vferonique 1 has had a dream of a very singular kind 
about our Harriet, telling her that Cecily was above with 
the virgins and martyrs, but that she was suffering inex- 
pressibly for sins committed in New York, and will suffer 
till next October except masses are offered for her contin- 
ually. True or not, it has awakened the prayers of the 
whole house for her. 

TO MRS. DUPLEX. 2 

Feb. lltfA, 1811. 
My Dear Friend, — Your letter of the 8th is just 
received, and read with the sweet delight which we must 
forever feel (now) that our Adored has given us hearts to 
love each other without restraint, calculations, or fears of 

saying too much or too little Since I wrote you, 

my peace and quiet are the same, and even increased. 
The community consists of fifteen Sisters, and thirty 

'One of the Sisters. * She had become a Oatholia 



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boarders in the school. The very thought of your visit- 
ing us gives a delight you can never imagine — the solitude 
of our mountains, the silence of Cecilia and Harriet's 
grave, the children playing in the woods, which in spring 
are full of wild flowers they would gather for you at every 
step, the regularity of our house, which is very spacious, 
and in an end wing contains our dear, dear chapel, so neat 
and quiet, where dwells night and day our Adored. This 
is no dream of fancy, but only a small part of the reality 
of our blessing. You must be a witness to believe that 
from Monday to Saturday all is quiet, no violation of each 
other's tranquillity, each helping the other with^ a look of 
good will which must indeed be seen to be believed. All the 
world would not have persuaded me if I had not proved it 
so. You may be incredulous till you come and see. Our 
mountain pastor 1 is a polished, simple, truly holy man. 
He says mass for us at sunrise all the year round ; if any 
one has a trouble it is carried to him — they receive conso- 
lation, and it is buried in silence. He is the superior of 
the seminary of the mountain, and doats upon William 
and Richard. He has had the former in his study, with 
fire, night and day, because he has at times been threat- 
ened with a cough. Annina for six months back is a pic- 
ture of health, as they all are in color and brightness ; but 
it is a deception of beauty, and requires perpetual care. 
Anna has her cell in my chamber ; and how it would 
amuse you — so many oddities and fancies. She is always 
busy ) tries much to improve herself, and if her Charles 
ever claims her, he will find her more than lovely ; but 
that business we must trust to the Adored alone. Dear 
child ! she sees now her want of prudence j and if what is 

1 The Boy. John Dubois. 



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done could be recalled, would be far from doing the same 
again ; but I know not what to wish for her. She wishes 
much to write to you, but has, through timidity and aver- 
sion to writing letters, partly also from knowing the 
romantic things which have been said of her among our 
friends, so long delayed writing any one in New York, 
that she knows not how to begin. Oh, my Du6, if I could 
but share with you my comfort, or you your pain with 
me ! My friend, the pen is silent when the heart says 
too much. 

TO MRS. SADLER. 

April, 1811. 

I have told you my present situation is, of 

all I could imagine in this world, most congenial to my 
sentiments and disposition. I am at peace ; yet this quiet 
is in the midst of fifty children all day except the early 
part of the morning and the last of the afternoon. But 
quiet it is. Order and regularity can not be slipped over 
here ; and I am in the full exercise of that principle which 
in the world passed either for hypocrisy or a species of 
it ; that manner, you know, of looking upon twenty peo- 
ple in a room with a look of affection and interest, showing 
an interest in all, and a concern in all their concerns. I 
am as a mother surrounded by many children of different 
dispositions — not all equally amiable or congenial, but 
bound to love, instruct, and provide for the happiness of 
all ; to give the example of cheerfulness, peace, resigna- 
tion, and consider individuals more as proceeding from 
the same origin and tending to the same end, than in the 
different shades of merit and demerit. 



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ELIZABETH 8 ETON. 



113 



TO MRS. SCOTT. 

10th M/, 1811. 

My Julia, — My Anna has endured a similar 

trial, and with a rational and patient conclusion that it 
can not but be a good escape to lose a heart which does not 
know its own inconstancy. The young Du Pavilion, to 
whom she gave her foolish little heart, found on his return 
to his family and possessions, some one who seized him 
on the spot, and saved him the trouble of disposing them 
for his return to my darling. Well, so much the better. 
I am very thankful she is left quietly with me, as she 
seemed to dread the separation, had it been even so small, 
and had long since felt the imprudence of connecting her- 
self so soon and with so little experience. 

And are you not anxious to know if I am alive and 
unmelted during this hot weather. Indeed, dearest, our 
New York has refreshing breezes which never reach this 
land of wood ; but also the woodland is inhabited by a 
heavenly guest I often wished for in New York. So 
taking all in all, the balance falls this way, and I am 
better and more active in soul and body than you could 
believe. I remember Dr. Tutilli, in Leghorn, used to say 
of Mrs. Filicchi, who always seemed dying, that " she 
would outlive himself, though he was in perfect health, 
because her spirit kept her up;" and, true, he is gone, 
and she is still the same. My spirit, too, whether good 
or bad supports me ; but love for the darlings more than 
all — the look only of these dear ones who seem to say : 
" Mother, live for us," acts as a mainspring ; but yet it is 
not the mainspring, for if it were no higher I should be 
worse than ungrateful 

VOL. II.— 8 



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114: MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 

V 

Oh, dear, dear, a thousand times dear Julia, eternity. 
Do you ever see it in its long, long, never-ending day or 
night? Peace to you, dearest. I would gladly give my 
life a thousand times, could I give it so often, to obtain 
for you the never-ending day. Yet, perhaps, in His 
searching eye you are surer of possessing it than the poor 
friend who so often begs it for you 

Anna bore her mortification with exemplary patience 
and submission to the will of Him who is " God of all 
consolation." She gave up, henceforth, every thought of 
the world, and lived with her mother at St. Joseph's, 
engaged in the manner of life of the community, and pre- 
paring herself to ask, at the proper time, admission into 
the House as a professed Sister. 

ANNA TO HER YOUNG FRIENDS H. AND C. SMITH. 

July 3tf, 1811. 
My Dear H — a, — I am very sorry, my love, to have 
gone so far as to make you cry about our old Hermitage, 
which exists only in fancy. Never mind, I have some 
hopes yet that after you have seen a little of the world, 
and experienced its nothingness, you will come and end 
your days with Sister Annina of St. Joseph's. I hope you 
won't be negligent about your prayers. You know death 
soon takes us, and often unawares, from the greatest pleas- 
ures this world can bestow. You will, remember, have a great 
deal to answer for if you areWt a good girl, because our 
Lord has given you so many opportunities to be good. 
Don't forget to say the prayers we joined in for a happy 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



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death : we ought, you know, to take a little trouble to 
prepare for that which should be the concern of our whole 
life. I had the happiness of receiving our Blessed Lord 
yesterday, the Visitation. Never do I enjoy that happi- 
ness, but you are all in my heart Ah, if my prayers 
could do you good, what good girls you woidd be ! S. has 
gone home ; B. is going, and as for me, I am going home, 
too — wont you be sorry to part with me ? Mother sends 
you a great deal of love. Pray for your 

This time last year we were all together. For my 
part, I remember it only as a dream. Perhaps it is the 
will of God to separate us in this world that we may take 
more pains to meet in the next. Oh, my dear ones, when 
we consider how soon death will cut us off, we ought to 
forget every thing, to gain the one only thing necessary. 
I have no news but the old news, how much I love you. 
When you are tired of the world, I have some hopes you 
will come and join your Nun, though I am so unworthy of 
the name. 

I hope you continue to be as good as formerly, or, 
rather, better. Tou must not neglect meditation. Medi- 
tate particularly on the miseries of this life, that you may 
not be too much taken up with its pleasures. Meditate, 
also, much on death, that you may not be attached to 
this life ; and on the shortness of time, that it may pre- 
pare you for eternity. But there is too an endless eter- 
nity, where we may feel the most bitter regrets for the 
loss of that time we now trifle with. How good a use 
we should make of the few moments God gives us here ! 



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If we neglect them, we lose an eternity. I sometimes fear 
your dear heart thinks too much of this world, of which 
you have not yet tasted the many miseries. Oh, be not 
careless. You know, dear love, we can not tell at what 
moment we may both meet before the awful tribunal ; and 
then, perhaps, you will thank me for reminding you, 
though I think so little myself. Pray for your Annina. 

You wish to be resigned to live in this wicked world 
as you call it. Ah ! Henrietta, you have many opportu- 
nities of serving and pleasing our dear Lord in it : make 
use of them, it is for them you will be called to account. 
Here is the first day of Advent, and we are to keep in 
mind, chiefly, the judgment. Never cease praying, my 
sweet friend, that we may meet one another joyfully in 
that day of terrors. When we think of the eternity which 
follows, we may well tremble. I return you a monthly 
patron. I hope you have had the happiness of receiving 
our dearest Lord, and that you did not forget your poor 
friend. Love and pray for and with your Annina. 

Meet me at the foot of the cross next Sunday at eight 
o'clock. 

Our dearest Lord will protect you. May He reunite 
us all, if it is His holy will, in this world ; and if not here, 
in heaven. Ah, all our endeavors, then, should be to 
reach that happy abode. The road through life is strewed 
with thorns — there are many parting tears and many sor- 
rows. We can hardly perceive them fully till youth is 
past ; but we will pray for one another, and walk on reso- 
lutely, loving one another, serving our blessed Lord to- 
gether, that we may love Him for eternity together. 

Dearest mother is pretty well, and desires her tender- 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



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est love to you alL Beg Gr. to offer prayers for me. Tell 
her she shall be paid with mine if I may hope they are 
acceptable. Don't forget to say your short beads — think 
how much those poor souls want them. Pray for and love 
your own affectionate friend in our blessed Lord. Oh, do 
pray for me, dear girls ; say at least a Hail Mary for me 
once a week ; it is not much for a friend. Remember to 
draw 1 a saint for me — I send you yours. 

ELIZABETH TO MRS. SADLER. 

22</ Jvk/, 1811. 

Anna's countenance and every action inspire 

the idea of her truly superior mind. She makes more 
progress in the formation of her character than any one 
could believe, who did not observe her continual advance- 
ment. The intelligence and spirit with which she practices 
the religion we love, gives her a distinct character from 
any young female I ever saw, except Ann Barry. But I 
hope you will be able to judge for yourself, and come and 
hear the history which has followed her once inexperienced 
and childish conduct. Oh ! how good has the source of 
all good been to her. 

ANNA TO A CHILD AT ST. JOSEPH'S PREPARING TO MAKE 
HER FIRST COMMUNION. 

J. M. J., November. 
Dear Theresa, — I write to put you in mind of the 
great action you are going about. Do, my dear love, try 

1 A Catholic devotion which consists in drawing fortuitously from an urn on 
the first day of each month, a billet— one of many — marked with the name of some 
saint and a referable maxim of virtue. 



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118 MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 

to prepare your heart to receive our Blessed Lord. Oh 
think, Theresa, how good He is to you in granting you 
such a favor. Spend every day till Christmas a quarter 
of an hour in the chapel to offer your dear heart to our 
Lord, and beg him to prepare it. You can not, you know, 
do it yourself. Offer yourself to the Blessed Virgin, ask 
her to make you her child. Beg our dear Lord to be born 
in your heart as He was in the manger for our salvation. 
Oh, Theresa! remember you can make your first com- 
munion but once ; try, then, to make it well Think, my 
love, how happy you will be if you receive Him for your 
salvation. Oh, when death comes how you will wish that 
you had made it well! but it will be too late then, and how 
dreadful if you make it ill! Oh! take care. Throw your- 
self in spirit at the foot of the cross, tell Him you are a 
weak child — you can do nothing of yourself, but particu- 
larly do not forget to say every day one or two verses of 
the " Come Holy Ghost," and beg our Lord to send the 
Holy Spirit of His love into your heart to consume it with 
this blessed love. Beg Him to enlighten your faith, that 
you may receive Him worthily. Oh, how happy would I 
think myself if I could again make my first communion ! 
I would think I could never prepare myself enough .... 
Oh, my love, if you knew what I feel for you and the dear 
girls who are to make their first communion. All I ask of 
you is to beg Him, and Him alone, to prepare your heart, 
and to give you a true sense of what you are going about. 
I should be so happy to think you would be forever His. 
Pray for me, dear love, beg our Lord to make me His, and 
teach me to love Him. 

Annina. 



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Annina had followed for some months the rule of 
St. Joseph's with extreme regularity; but she was not 
long able to resist the effects of the many privations to 
which, in those early years of the establishment of that 
house, all the Sisters were obliged to submit. At the 
approach of winter, and the blowing of the mountain 
winds that sweep down upon the valley, she felt her 
health with the most alarming rapidity give way. Her 
mother writes on the 2d of December to a friend : " Anna, 
my sweet and precious comfort and friend, is undergoing 
all the symptoms which were so fatal to our Cecilia," 
She was now confined to a part of the house called the 
Infirmary, whence, on Christmas-day, she addressed these 
few lines — the last she ever wrote — to her mother. 



Christmas. 

My soul's dearest mother, oh ! how much I love you. 
None but our Jesus knows how much. And must I be 
separated from you ? Oh, yes, I must for a time ! but I 
will try my poor best to be good, so that I may be united 
to yoij in eternity — and both of us united to our Jesus. 
Oh, delightful thought ! to be forever united to all we love 
most tenderly, and, above all, to be united to Him who is 
all our hope. Oh ! my mother, my soul's mother, I try to 
be good, yet still I fall into many faults. Oh, pray for your 
most loving child, but yet very bad child. Oh, my mother, 
this is the time of love, and Jesus can refuse us nothing. 
Oh, my mother, unite with me to beg for " Thy kingdom 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 



come." This is written from the infirmary. Tour poor, 
but affectionate and loving child, 

Annina. 

Then with Jesus e'er remaining 

In that land of peace and love, 
Why? my soul, why now complaining? 

We'll hereafter reign above. 

ELIZABETH TO FATHER BABAD, IN BALTIMORE. 1 

Between the adoration of midnight and the mass of 
four o'clock — what moments ! Our happy retreat ended, 
the flame of love ascending, every innocent heart beating. 
Those who had communed before, preparing and desiring 
as if for the first time ; and the meltings of love going 
from mother to children, and from children to mother. At 
half-past eleven she called them from their short slumber, 
or, rather, found most of them watching for her. Come ! 
gratitude and love resounded in a moment through all the 
dormitories, from young and old ; even dear Annina, lying 
in her fever, joined the loud chorus. The altar dressed by 
our truly angelic sacristans V6ronique and Betsey, adorned 
with the purest taste, and blazing with lights made by 
their virgin hands. Oh ! my Father, words have but little 
meaning. You can understand. All we wanted was the 
vere dignum et justum est, 2 we were so often delighted with 
in former days. Peace to memory — let all be hushed in 
the darling babe. 

The year 1812 is a blessed one in the " simple annals 0 
of St. Joseph. So long before as 1809 the Kev. Benedict 

Written soon after Christmas, 1811. 

Of the Preface in the Mass sung with the majestic Gregorian chant 



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Flaget, a Sulpitiap appointed to the see of Bardstown, 
and who was on the point of leaving the United States 
for a time, had been requested to bring back with him 
from France a copy of the constitution and rules of the 
Daughters of Charity. The desired document was re- 
ceived at St. Joseph's in the month of August, 1810, 
and its directions were at once carried out in an informal 
and a temporary manner. In the mean while the eccle- 
siastical superiors took them into consideration. 

After a careful revision of the Vincentian rule, heed 
to the conditions of the country and the circumstances of 
the persons whom it was expected to bind, rendered some 
modifications necessary, and particularly was provision 
made that Mrs. Seton, as an exceptional case, should be 
left at liberty to watch over the welfare of her children, 
and act for them as though she were free from conventual 
restraint. In the month of January, 1812, it received in 
its modified form the approval of Archbishop Carroll, and 
was definitively applied to the community at Emmits- 
burg. At the same time the first election of persons to 
fill the different stations as appointed by the rule was 
held, and Elizabeth chosen Mother Superior. She was 
periodically re-elected to this position as long as she lived. 
The following note, jotted down on a scrap of paper, 
alludes to the first appointment : " Mother, what a celes- 
tial commission intrusted ! Mother of the Daughters of 
Charity, by whom so much is to do for God through 
their short lives." 



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ELIZABETH TO FATHER BAB AD. 

Saturday Evening, 1812. 
A moment caught from pain and suffering, close by the 
sick-bed. The choir resounding with the litany of our 
Virgin Mother from thirty or forty virgin voices, a thin 
partition dividing from the tabernacle. My father, pray, 
beg, implore that He will not reject the humble, broken 
heart — broken of its perverse and obstinate resistance to 
His will. The peace and safety of a mortified spirit is my 
daily lesson. Now pray for a generous, aspiring heart for 
me. I repeat it, you know not my miseries. No love of 
vocation, no pure charity, no assimilation with holy poverty, 
no pliancy of spirit. Oh, my father, hold up your sacred 
hands for us all. — L. J. C. 

E. A. Seton. 

TO MRS. SCOTT. 

ISth February, 1812. 
My Julia Most Dear, — Your letter containing your 
boundless bounty came at a moment I would have given 
much to have had you by my side. Anna bathed in cold 
sweat, gasping for breath hour after hour, unable to utter 
any word but my mother, my Saviour, yet with such looks 
of love and contentment at the expectation of her depart- 
ure, that nature itself was obliged to resign her. From 
her bedside I write. She is so quiet and so exhausted I 
know not how soon the moment will come. Dear and 
lovely, to be sure, is my darling ; but much rather would 
I see her go in her innocence, than wait to take my load 



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of sin and sorrow. She will not allow any of us to 
shed a tear around her. When she saw your letter in my 
hand she said : " Dear Aunt Scott, dear Maria, if I could 
take Aunt Scott with me ! but I must leave all, and you 
too, dearest mother : His blessed will be done." But you 
worldly ladies look upon all our faith and hope with quite 
another eye. At least, my own friend, acknowledge the 
hour may be near — there is no saying wait — and will you 
not use your beautiful soul in considering what you would 
wish in that hour ? My Julia, my friend, dear and truest 
friend, I must be silent ; but my life would not be worth 
a thought if it could contribute by its sacrifice to the hap- 
piness I desire for you. Ever yours. 

Elizabeth's journal of annina's last illness and 

DEATH. 

When we first found her complaint obstinate, speaking 
of her danger, she said : " I can never believe that after 
all our dear Lord has done for me in this house, and 
attaching me so much to it, He will ever let me leave it. 
He knows I always will be His and His alone." Well, 
but, dear Anna, if poor mother should die, if strangers 
should fill her place, could you have courage to stay ? 
" Why, dearest mother, if others were in your place, they 
would not hinder me from serving our Lord when they 
saw I did my best ; but if our dearest will take me, I am 
sure I am very willing. But, oh, how I have abused His 
graces ! If only I had made use of the opportunities He 
has given me here. If the girls did but know how sorry 
I am for every vexation I have given the Sisters, and 
every fault I have committed against the rule of silence, 



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and every other bad example. Oh ! if I get better, I will 
be different in every respect." Sometimes, when taking 
her powders, she would say : " My mother, why would 
you keep me ; if my life is prolonged a little, it must be 
over at last." She wrote her former companions : "lam 
suffering now in earnest, not as we used to do on our 
knees when meditating the passion of our dearest Lord, 
we used to wish to suffer with Him ; but when called to 
prove the wish, how different is the reality from the im- 
agination ! Let my weakness be a lesson to you." Half 
reproaching her for the little care of her health : " Ah, 
dear mother," she replied, coloring deeply, as if her hu- 
mility were wounded, "if our Lord called me up to medi- 
tate, was I wrong to go ? If I ate what I did not like, 
was it not proper, since it is but a common Christian act 
to control my taste ? Besides, what would my example 
have been to my Decury 1 if I did otherwise in these 
cases? Indeed, I have given too much bad example 
without that. Dearest Lord, pardon me." Again : " Poor 
clay ! I see myself dead upon that bed ; but how short 
will be our separation, how soon you will follow me, my 
mother P Sister Cecilia pitying her burning fever, she 
said : " In the woods I shall be cold enough, but wait till 
the flowers spring up." Looking down from the window : 
" Hard earth ! my body must be laid in you." Then rais- 
ing her eyes — " Oh ! beautiful heavens, how high you are ; 
when will my soul reach you? hasten, hasten, happy 
hour." On the festival of the Holy Name, being unusu- 
ally dejected, she said : " When I think how soon I shall 
depart, I can not excite myself to that interior joy : my 

1 A band of ten girls oyer whom she watched like a little mother. 



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sins, my sins ! but I am resigned that His will be done. 
I confide in Him — my dear Lord." At every cough 
through the night and day, that expression : " Oh, my 
dear Lord." 

Friday, St. Peter Nolaseus (31 Jan.). — Our departing 
darling's consecration. She said : " Dear mother, I could 
not but be amused to hear Mr. Dubois say so much about 
consecration, having been accustomed long before my ill- 
ness to perform this act, and since, continually repeating 
it. But now it is to be done, that I may become a Sister, 
and be numbered among the children of blessed St. Vin- 
cent." What a communion between the child and the 
mother ! 

Saturday. — Poor William came. How deeply affected 
by the admonition of the dear sufferer : " Be good, be 
good ; oh, when you come to your death-bed as I am 
come, how you will wish you had been good, that you 
never had offended our dear Lord. Oh, if I had never 
offended Him!" 

Purification. — At the feet of our happy mother, listen- 
ing to dear Simeon prophesying on the darling babe, when 
He entered our chamber. 1 The sweet half-hour of love 
and peace with Jesus, as she sits on her bed of pain, and 
I kneel beside her. Covering her when she lay down, 
and giving her the usual cross on the forehead, she said 
with the most endearing smile : " Yet a little while you 
see me ; again a little while you shall not see me, be- 

1 That is, our Lord in the blessed sacrament was brought for Annina'a com- 
munion. 



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cause I go to my Father;" then, as if she feared it 
was too much to use such sacred words, she added : 
" So says my dear Lord." In her sleep even she cried 
out : " 0 eternity, eternity ! " and seeing some wri- 
ting of Rev. Mr. Babad in my hand, she said : " 0 
eternity ! it seems connected with the thought of him !" 
Lying on the bed with her crucifix in her hand, talking to 
Him of His dear head resting on thorns, of the thousand 
souls who would not come to Him : " Dearest Lord, I did 
not come when You called me, and You came and brought 
me. Oh, how I wish I were good to help them ! but poor 
strayed sheep — here I am at the foot of Your cross. 
Death will come, and I shall hold so fast to the cross and 
to Your sacred feet. You shall be with me wherever I go. 
Oh, the poor souls, see how they fall into eternity: how I 
wish I could help them ! " To the little ones who came 
to see her she said : " You come to look at what will soon 
be turned to dust ; remember how short a time it is since 
I was playing with you all. Consider how soon you may 
die. Love our Lord." 

Friday Afternoon, 11 th. — Obliged to remain with my 
darling who seemed to be entering her agony. What 
anguish ! what unremitting pains ! " 0 my Jesus !" was 
all she could say, with her eyes continually on the large 
crucifix at the foot of her bed. Poor mother, what a med- 
itation. 

Saturday Morning. — All suffering — all patience. " If 
our dearest Lord did not hold me, how could I bear so 
many pains ? " What a smile was on her face all that 
long hard trial. Telling her that Mr. Brut6 was much 



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pleased she was now a Sister of Charity, " Yes," she said, 
" I have somehow had to check a rising wish to live ever 
since that day." Why, darling, I answered ; it seems you 
would rather have reason to fear, if you should live, the 
danger of not keeping to your engagements. " Oh, to be 
sure, mother, if it depended on me; but our Lord is so 
good, and has so long kept that thought in my mind, that 
supposing I lived the longest life, it would be but one 
moment to eternity, and short enough in which to serve 
Him ; and I do not believe there can be a better way in 
this world to serve Him than as a Sister of Charity. This 
has long been my thought. Oh, our Jesus, how boundless 
is your goodness !" 

Sunday, — After I had read the meditation to the 
Sisters, she begged me to leave her no more. Her pains 
so excessive, so many little prayers, so much reading 
must be done every day. At eight o'clock in the evening, 
after reading many of her favorite hymns to her, she ap- 
peared to enter her agony, and said : " Oh, my mother, 
what does this mean ?" I told her, my darling, be ready. 
She saw some tears — " Oh, my mother, it is not for me 
you should shed tears ; no, Kitty ; no, Rebecca ; rejoice 
for me." Looking on her crucifix, and kissing the dear 
feet: "My Jesus, you know my only hope is in you: 
never, never shall I be confounded." Then such acts of 
faith, love, and desire, with looks of joyful anticipation. 
In the litany of the Blessed Virgin, at refuge of sinners, 
she showed great emotion, and said as the litany ended : 
" Oh, refuge of sinners, pity me ; I am a miserable one. 
What ! all my idle words, my silly thoughts, and careless 
actions to be accounted for this night." I presented the 



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feet of the crucifix again to her Hps : " Yes," she added, 
with great affection, " my sweet Lord, your sacred wounds 
are my hope. Oh, my mother, oh, my sisters, call to our 
Jesus for me; say Jesus all around my bed, say Jesus 
everywhere." We said the litany of Jesus, while she pro- 
nounced His name with us in a manner not to be de- 
scribed ; and coming to Jesus, Infinite Goodness, her trans- 
port glowed on her countenance, and it seemed as if her 
soul must go with the heavings of her poor little breast. 
Now her desire for the Holy Oil seemed almost to disturb 
her; but our dearest was so good as to' hasten our wish. 
The Rev. Superior arrived : what a moment for her ! He 
must wait for a book/and she kept her eyes on a crucifix. 
When the book was brought, she presented her hands the 
moment they were wanted, and with such a look of joy ! 
Oh, happy, happy mother, in that moment. But now the 
trial was to come, for after extreme unction the alarm- 
ing symptoms subsided, and she must wait. What delight 
in the morning to receive our Adored, what dear content- 
ment, what peace when He came to her; and poor mother, 
too, kneeling beside her, received Him. It was an hour 
of happiness such as they alone can know who under- 
stand. 1 Through the following week, every minute of the 
night and day she was looking for the summons, but our 
Jesus said, not yet. Who could count the acts of faith, 
submission, love, confidence, desire, and abandonment ex- 
pressed by this dear soul in so hard a trial of pains, deadly 
coldness, unceasing cough, choking, and heaving of the 
chest; every hour suffering more, apparently, than the 
many dear ones I have seen in their departing agony, and 

1 "The mysteries of the kingdom of heaven," which God has hidden " from the 
wise and prudent," and revealed " to little ones." — Matthew. 



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with no other words but "Jems, sweet Jesus, amiable Jesus!' 9 
to which she seemed to attach some special meaning, as 
she always said it with a smile, even when distress was 
ever so great. " Tears for me, my mother ? No, no, you 
see I am obliged to be willing to part even from you, from 
you, my mother. Yes, my dearest Lord, your will forever, 
not mine/' What a spirit in her look when she added : 
" Yet, my mother, but for a little while : we will be uni- 
ted. What a thought — to part with you no more ! to live 
and love in our Jesus for eternity ! " 

■S- St. John of God (Sth March). — At break of day 
Annina told me she could not, dare not, go to communion, 
her anguish was so great, she was sure she would groan 
aloud. The whole night she had not slept one hour, or 
been able to remain five minutes in the same posture. I 
told her the confessor should decide. He brought her the 
Adored before mass, and from the moment she received 
Him she was as still as an infant in its mother's arms. A 
little while after, going to her we found her breast was 
purple in the center and near the heart — " My mother, 
what does this mean ? " It means, dearest darling, that 
you have received Him, and He is now going to receive 
you. Oh! the ascensions from that heart, the looks to 
her crucifix, the accents of joy. After again inquiring if 
it were so, she told some Sisters around her the most 
animating things, and to me : " will you let me say some- 
thing to all the dear girls this morning, my mother ? Let 
my last breath be for Him." She called first for her com- 
munity, which consisted of the highest class, who had 
among themselves certain regulations and practices of 
piety ; secondly, for her decury children ; and finally, all 
came in companies. What a sight for angels ! with looks 

vol. n. — 9 



i 



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of the sweetest affection (and to a mother more than 
human loveliness), smiling on all with that peaceful ex. 
pression which comes from within, she spoke to each band 
short but most moving words of love to Jesus — peace in 
Jesus, and reminding the community girls how short a 
time ago she had been even more healthy than many of 
them, and of their united resolution to prepare daily for 
death ; then showing her poor breast, so discolored, she 
said : " See how vain and foolish is all that is riot for 
Jesus — how it passes ! — but in the Resurrection ! ! ! " lifting 
her eyes fixed on heaven in silence, and they departed 
with sobs and sighs they were unable to control. Her 
little decury children then came forward : " Oh, yes," she 
said, " come, my little ones, how often I have told you to 
be good, and to love our Jesus ; now look at me — what 
would I be without Him ? You see, dear mother, He 
knows how I love her, but what is mother now ? what 
can she do for me, except strengthen me in the love of our 
Jesus, in whom we hope to be united forever? Now I 
must leave her, everybody — every thing, all alone I must 
go; be good, love Jesus, love Him." To a little favorite, 
whom she told to kneel by her side, she said much, admon- 
ishing her to be faithful to her first communion, and repre- 
senting the scruples and the examinations made about 
communion when on the bed of death. To some new girls 
who had come since her sickness, she said, with great 
simplicity : " I do not know you, but I love you in Jesus; 
be good, love Him." When the Sisters came she looked 
on them with inexpressible tenderness, and pronouncing 
My Sisters, burst into tears. After awhile she told Sister 

K she feared she had been a cause of much trouble 

to her, but begged her, again, to pardon, and asked the 



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general pardon of all the dear Sisters for the scandals she 
had given, entreating, also, their prayers. When all were 
gone: "alone," she said, "with my Jesus and my mother/ 
In the evening the community and the decury children 
sent to beg their little mother for a last penance. To the 
first she sent the prayer of union with Jesus dying on the 
cross, to be said when the clock strikes; to the little ones, 
" Remember, 0 most pious Virgin Mary," which she herself 
always said in the middle of her painful nights, with an 
expression of confidence and love for her which none of 
us could resist Many of the Sisters asked for a penance, 
to whom she said very gayly : " To be sure, for His glory ; 
whenever you enter the mountain church, thank our Vir- 
gin Mother for all the favors she obtained for me there. 
I never can tell half of them — all, I am persuaded, by her 
intercession ; and ask pardon for my abuse of them." 
When we were alone she added : " Now, my mother, your 
penance is to remind our Sisters, every day you live, to 
pray for me ; you know the judgments of God — remember." 
She sat up in her bed and sang vespers with the choir. 
The Magnificat (which she always said with the Miserere to 
counterbalance) seemed to lift her soul to heaven. In the 
night finding no efforts of ours, no change of position could 
obtain the least relief from her incredible pains, she looked 
firmly at the crucifix, and, " 0 now, my Jesus," she said, 
" I will bear it with your grace, but I must talk to you. 
0 ! my God ! my all ! my J esus, you know how I fear to 
displease you, you know how I dread my enemy ; hide 
me, my J esus, hide me in your open side. You know I 
have been trying daily to purify this poor heart from every 
earthly affection, that it may be pleasing in your sight, 
and yours alone. Oh, now have mercy, save me from my 



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enemy ; will you leave me when I have no other help but 
you ? If I looked only to your justice, I know I am lost ; 
but your mercy, your dear mercy is all my confidence. 
You will save me from my enemy, you will not reject so 
poor a soul ! My cruel enemy ! but I renounce him, my 
Jesus ; I renounce a thousand times whatever he may say 
to me, I renounce him." She had spoken so long a while 
with so much agony, I did my best to stop her, but she 
could not cease until quite exhausted, saying things of 
that kind which I can ever remember, with an expression, 
too, and a countenance almost supernatural. Some hours 
after, I asked : Why, dearest, did you say so often, " I 
renounce him ? " " Because, mother, he tried even then 
to make me think of something else but what I was doing, 
and because I know I may, even in my last hour, be lost." 
This she also repeated the last night when she was dying : 
" My mother, remember the enemy, — let all pray for me in 
my last hour ; yet I do not fear hell, our Jesus is so good, — 
so good, — infinite goodness. Say for me the prayer to the 
blessed sacrament : Soul of Jesus sanctify me" and this with 
the prayer to Jesus dying and " Jesus, Mary, and Joseph : 
I give you my heart, my soul, and my life," she repeated 
every few minutes ; in the intervals, echoing the name of 
Jesus from the lips of our dear Sister Rose, until Mr. 
Brut6 came. Her desire to receive our Lord, she ex- 
pressed in every way, and had begged for preparation 
prayers. He told her he would say mass for her, — sug- 
gested many things for the moment ; to which she replied 
with all her soul, although a little before he came she had 
appeared somewhat to wander. When Mr. Brut6 left her 
for the altar, she called after him, and earnestly repeated, 
she prayed for all, all her dear Sisters, for the seminary, 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 133 

and for all, as he had suggested. Her efforts were so great 
I tried to compose her, saying, as I knelt before her, and 
held high the crucifix : " Unite yourself to your suffering 
Jesus in the divine sacrifice." After mass how many, 
many most fervent acts and aspirations to Jesus! what 
cheerfulness of her dying countenance ! how sweetly she 
applied her now speechless mouth to the crucifix ! what a 
cry of joy to all around her ! Amidst so many precious signs 
I will ever remember this act of gratitude and thanks to 
Jesus ; the arms stretched towards heaven with inex- 
pressible energy, and a look piercing even to Him on high, 
and an effort of the breast to cry and to express — what is 
known only in eternity. 

Oh, mother, mother, give a thousand thanks all your 
life — every day of this life, until you meet with her 
again. — March 12th. 

Spirit, leave thy house of clay, 

Lingering dust resign thy breath ; 
Spirit, cast thy chains away, 

Dust, be thou dissolved in death. 

Thus the Guardian Angel spoke 

As he watched the dying-bed, 
As the bonds of life he broke 

And the ransomed captive fled. 

Prisoner! long detained below, 

Prisoner ! now with freedom blest, 
Welcome ! from a world of woe, 

Welcome 1 to eternal rest 

Thus the Guardian Angel sang 

As he bore the soul on high, 
While with alleluias rang 

All the regions of the sky. 



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ELIZABETH TO MRS. SADLER. 

March 18*A, 1812. 

The dear, beloved soul is gone. I left her with Har- 
riet and Cecilia in the sacred wood Friday last at one 
o'clock. As I sit by my chamber window, I look at the 
white palings which inclose them — who can tell the 
silent solitude of the mother's heart ? its peace and rest 
in God. The countenances of Kitty and Rebecca reflect 
it, and have the same expression now as when, at her 
request, supported opposite the open window, her hands 
clasped and eyes fixed steadily on the clouds as if she 
could pierce them — they sang her favorite hymns while she 
departed. She took leave of all with such sweet affection, 
saying a word to every different band of our fifty boarders, 
who have a boundless attachment to her. Whatever she 
said, whatever she has written, all her papers, turned to 
one point : to be ready for death. 

A MEMORANDUM OF ELIZABETH'S. 

3d May, 1812. — Annina's birthday seventeen years 
ago. Eternity was her darling word : I find it written in 
every thing that belonged to her — music, books, copies, — 
everywhere that word marked with the pen or needle. 

Elizabeth, although loving very sincerely the quiet 
and religious retirement so proper to her state of life, 
was not afraid to have Protestants come to see her, 
hoping that by their visits some prejudice — if not against 
her own person, against her misunderstood religion — 



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might be dispelled. Several of her relatives went to St. 
Joseph's at different times to call upon her. In May she 
saw her sister Mary, Mrs. Post, who, writing in June 
following, mentions one who is already known in this 
Memoir. 

She says : " I met Bishop Hobart yesterday in the 
street. After How do you do, I told him I had lately 
seen one he had once esteemed a dear friend, and that 
she had inquired particularly after him. The abstract- 
edness of his address was so contrary to what I had ex- 
pected, that I mentioned it to Mr. Bowen in the evening, 
during a call that he gave. He said it had been his man- 
ner ever since this, I could almost say, impious contro- 
versy ; that all affections of mind and heart require to be 
roused on any other subject. I involuntarily exclaimed • 
What a pity ! He says that Bishop Hobart and others 
have spoken to him ia such terms of Mrs. Seton as to 

give him the highest respect possible for her. " 

In the course of a few more years the bishop of the Prot- 
estant Episcopal Church in New York appears not only 
to have risen superior to prejudice, but to have enter- 
tained even a benign opinion of Mrs. Seton, for the same 
sister, writing in the month of April, 1817, says: u Do 
not be dissatisfied with me, if I tell you that in a late 
visit from your old friends, Bishop and Mrs* Hobart, 
after many inquiries after you, I showed them your last 
letter to me. I felt a conviction that the sensible, candid, 
and amiable exposition of your feelings and motives in 



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regard to religious impressions must gratify every good 
heart, therefore, particularly one which I believed knew 
how to appreciate them. I was not mistaken : the high 
encomiums he bestowed on you, convinced me you have 
his former friendship with increased approbation — admi- 
ration I think more appropriate." 

Towards the end of September, 1812, a French cler- 
gyman, who has already appeared at the closing hours 
of Annina's life, became permanently established at the 
Mountain. This was the Rev. Simon-Gabriel Brute, who 
had come to the United States in 1810 with the Bishop- 
elect of Bardstown, when this one returned from France, 
after his ineffectual attempt to get relieved from the bur- 
den of a diocese. While at the college, Mr. Brute taught 
Latin, French, Natural Philosophy, and assisted Father 
Dubois in missionary work and in the spiritual direction 
of the Sisterhood in the Valley. . He will be frequently 
mentioned in these pages until the end ; and, although 
such few (hitherto unpublished) writings of his own as will 
appear in this connection, would of themselves bear wit- 
ness to the elevated character of the man, I give at once 
the testimony of his biographer. " Mr. Brute's humility, 
piety, and learning, made him a model of the Christian 
priest, and the impression his virtues made upon both 
ecclesiastical and lay students, surpassed all oral in- 
struction The Sisters of Charity in this country 

also owe a debt of gratitude to him. Mother Seton found 
in him an enlightened director and friend, and his advice 



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and influence was most beneficial to her young commu- 
nity at St. Joseph's." 1 

On the 15 th of October, 1812, occurred the fourth 
death at St. Joseph's. It was Sister Maria Murphy who 
was now called to receive the reward of a life truly hid- 
den with Christ in God. She was remarkable for a very 
mortified spirit, besides exactly practicing the other vir- 
tues of a good religious. On one occasion she showed 
great recollection and presence of mind in the house of 
God. It was a Thursday afternoon that with the mother 
she had gone up to the Mountain church to make the 
evening adoration, and while preparing to kneel saw a 
large snake at her feet. With much simplicity she made 
the sign of the cross over the reptile, and then taking it up 
fearlessly by the tip of the tail, carried it out of the sacred 
edifice into the woods and let it go in peace. — Serpentes 
tottent: "They shall take up serpents." — Mark xvi. 18. 

from Elizabeth's note-book. 

Maria. — Departed St. Theresa's day. Useless to 

make your eulogium to those who so well knew you, to 
name your virtues to those who witnessed a thousand acts 
of them daily. I seek before God a lasting and useful 
conclusion — to serve for our eternity ! and rather from 
this amiable view of death, of eternity, of the gates of 
heaven, turn towards this life in which we are still de- 

1 Memoirs of Simon W. G. Brute, First Bishop of Vincennes, etc By the Bight 
Ber. J. R. Bayley, Bishop of Newark. 



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tained. Few will be blessed with a death so premature ; 
if some, few ; the greater number are, rather, to serve. 
For the first intentions are enough. How immense and 
charitable those of Maria were ! But for those who remain 
intentions will be tried ; and let us be courageous with 
love and zeal to fulfill the will and order of Providence, 
nor refuse to live the longest life — a nothing to eternity. 
The most generous saints desired to remain : courage ! 
Sisters of Charity, your admirable name must excite in you 
every preparation to do justice to your vocation. Go, 
Maria, go to your blessed abode ; to your friends who 
wait for you : Annina, Cecilia, Harriet will receive you. 
Go, Maria, you have delivered very faithfully to your last 
breath your charge to be for others a model of charity also. 
Fear not, Maria, to be forgotten by your sisters ; we follow, 
now, alas ! to the cold grave, but we will follow also to 
heaven, yes, to heaven. 0 heaven ! eternity ! To see face 
to face! to praise with angels! to love incessantly, eternally 
with God. 

She is gone to praise our Lord in the land of the living. 

Here we contemplate a last time our blessed sister. 
Her soul has been carried above by angels. This cold and 
inanimate form, from which she departed triumphantly, is 
left for its momentary destruction in the grave. Momen- 
tary : so often it was united with the glorified body of our 
Saviour, it will receive also the glorious restoration which 
must take place for the just in the last day. 0 day ! 
happy day, the last of all ; after which eternity alone ! 
but eternity even now — eternity takes its endless course 
for the soul — a delightful, an inexpressibly delightful 
course for the blessed soul that watched so well for it 
during its short time of trial. But as the angels even are 



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not pure in His sight, our Mother, the Church, tenderly 
entreats us to put up our prayers for departed friends, 
that through the communion of saints, the merits of our 
Redeemer may still be applied, if necessary, to them. 
We will pray for Maria as we did for Annina. We will 
pray, not only in this solemn moment when Maria (as did 
here Annina) calls on us herself for our most tender du- 
ties, but we will follow her also to her cold abode, where, 
with her loved companions already preceded, she will 
await her glorious transformation ; where pious thoughts, 
impressive views, eternity anticipated, will soothe our 
exile, and prepare our way to the land of the living — of 
eternal reunion. 



1813. — Rebecca Seton. : — Extracts from Elizabeth's 
Note - Book. — Dear Remembrances. 

On the 25th of December, 1812, Rebecca Seton, who 
was then between ten and eleven, made her first commu- 
nion, for which she had been preparing during several 
months. On the 10th of July preceding, her mother 
writes to a friend : " My little child of the cross, the 
darling Rebecca, is praying much and preparing for com- 
munion at Christmas." Elizabeth applies to her daughter 
the expression, child of the cross, on account of her intense 
sufferings from an accident on the ice the previous year, 
by which she injured her hip. Behind St. Joseph's 
house, between it and the stream, there is a lakelet 
that in summer nestles its crystal surface in the grass and 



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flowers of the field ; fine trees are around it, and at the 
foot of one, more spreading than the rest, wells up a 
source of water called Mother's Fountain, because Eliza- 
beth used often to sit there and watch the children frolic ; 
but in winter it freezes over and becomes a spot to slide 
upon. One time Rebecca was so giddy with play, that 
she ran down a little hill above the water and slid off on 
the ice, then suddenly fell, and was taken up a piteous 
cripple. Her pains were very sharp, but an excellent 
physician of Baltimore, a friend of her mother, afforded 
some temporary relief, and prolonged her life for several 
years. She could go about, however, on crutches only, 
living at St. Joseph's an object, partly from her help- 
less state, and partly on account of the infantile sweet- 
ness of her disposition, of the most charitable attentions, 
and every one's little pet. 

A MEMORANDUM OF REBECCA'S. 

February, 1813. 
I received my dearest Lord for the first time in my 
life on Christmas-day, at six o'clock in the morning. I 
offered up my intention for all my dear friends, at least 
for as many as I could remember, and particularly for 
those poor souls that do not know our dear Lord's will. 
Jesus — Mary. My second communion was on Tuesday, 
the second of February, Feast of the Purification. I 
offered up my intention for all my dear friends and com- 
panions, and particularly for all at St. Joseph's house. 
My resolutions were to try and think of our dear Lord 



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often in the course of the day, and particularly to bear 
my sufferings with patience. Jesus — Mary. 

from Elizabeth's note-book. 

Thoughts on the First Communion at St. Mary 1 8 Mount, 
2d February, 1813. — He who perseveres to the end shall 
be saved. Piety must be habitual, not by fits. It must 
be persevering, because temptations continue all our life, 
and perseverance alone obtains the crown. Its means 
are: the presence of God, good reading, prayer, the 
sacraments, good resolutions often renewed, the remem- 
brance of our last end ; and its advantages : habits which 
secure our predestination — making our life equal, peace- 
able, and consoling — leading to the heavenly crown — to 
where our perseverance will be eternal ! ! ! St. Paul, 2 
Cor., chap. vi. : And we helping do exhort you, that you 

receive not the Grace of God in vain behold, now is 

the day of salvation. 

When the father 1 of a family rejoices with his children 
on a day of festivity, they remember not the daily misery. 
A good fire, the covered table and best garments, make 
them forget it will not always be the same. But the 
father foresees, anticipates the future with a sigh of anx- 
iety ; the paternal heart pierces the veil, and beholds ! ! ! 
Oh, our Jesus ! the hunger, want, and misery which may 
succeed. The lesson of perseverance, how necessary on 
this day — for you a day of anticipated heaven — for the 
poor father of the family — of death and judgment. Jesus 
— Mary— our angels — renewal of fidelity. 

1 She means the priest who has prepared the children to receive this bread of 
angels. 



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On the Fifth Sunday after Epiphany. Admirable epis- 
tle. 1 Gospel : 2 good seed and cockle. The Lord sows by 
His ministers, preaching, the tribunal, conversations, good 
parents, good friends, good books. Immense numbers 
of these different seeds. He has sown from the beginning 
of the world. He sows everywhere; but more abun- 
dantly in certain places. The enemy sows : by false 
friends, bad example, false doctrine, bad books, etc. 



Present as a figure one ear of corn. Behold the work 
of our Heavenly Father — what was its first beginning? 
Look at this separate grain — recollect the time when it 
was first planted in the earth and covered with the frost 
and snows of winter, or trampled over in mire and mud, 
and afterwards behold the fields covered with green and 
gradually adorned with these beautiful plants. They rise 
to the height of eight or ten feet, thousands of shocks 
appear at one view in shining verdure delightful to the 
eye, spreading their long, broad leaves on bending stalks. 
On the very summit of the plant the towering plume ap- 
pears, containing within it the fruitful ear, wrapt round in 
silken folds, which produces the multiplied grains pressed 
close together on every side. From whence did they 
proceed? from one single grain: and by what power? 
our Heavenly Father. What, then, must be His seed of 
faith, of His word, of His blood, of His cross, of His flesh 
in the Eucharist, deposited in our hearts through the win- 
ter of life ? What must be the fruit in the harvest of 
eternity, whose echoing vaults and ever-verdant fields 

1 Oolosa. iii. 12-18. * Matt xiii. 24-31. 



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shall resound with praise and love forever ! Oh, exulting, 
— oh, delightful prospect! joyful anticipations. How 
endearingly should we cherish this precious faith, this 
ineffable hope, this first seed of love now shooting in our 
hearts during the trial of patience and winter of life which 
will so soon pass away and bring us to the harvest of 
delights in eternity ! ! ! 

Oh, food of Heaven, how my soul longs for you with 
desire ! seed of Heaven, pledge of its immortality, of that 
eternity it pants for. Come, come, my Jesus, bury your- 
self within this heart. It shall do its best to preserve 
that warmth which will bring forth the fruits of eternity. 
Oh, amen. Our Jesus. 

TO MRS. SCOTT. 

12th March. 1813. 
* * 

This day, one year ago, my darling, every 

day more and more beloved by her poor mother in our 
separation, gave her last long look out of this very win- 
dow I sit by. She had, all her illness through, that pro- 
pensity to look upwards poor mother has : then, what a 
look ! She had told the children so earnestly just before, 
u Oh, love Him, love Him. What would I do now if I did 
not love Him ? Mother can not go with me; I go alone. 
Dear mother ! you know how I love her, but I must leave 
her. Oh, love Him who will be your all in death." 

Dear Anna, was ever the beauty of the soul so pic- 
tured as on that dying face ? How faithfully represented 
by memory. You would not believe the love of a mother 
could increase as mine has since she is gone 



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144 MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 

BRUTE TO ELIZABETH. 1 
* 

10 o 'clock — The Mountain. 

In a moment more — here on this mountain — for this 
good people — scorched, tormented all the week. The 
refreshing coolness — the copious waters — the gentle calm- 
ness of the word of God — then Jesus himself — Jesus on 
our altar. 0 Divine Master ! 0 Infinite Goodness ! 

This morning, octave of Saints Peter and Paul, at a 
quarter-past five, at Annina's grave. A white rose ■£« 
peace — repose — eternal happiness — Jesus, Mary, Joseph: 
her soul in your blessed company for ever and ever. May 
I die the death of the just. May my last end be like unto 
theirs. Let these be our final resolutions : peace — pa- 
tience — humility — meekness — conformity to the Divine 
will — fidelity unbroken in daily duties. Jesus! Mary! 
Joseph ! Eternity — the holy sacrifice — communion — the 
tabernacle — our minds fixed on heaven, 

from Elizabeth's note-book. 

Mount St. Mary's, 23rf May, 1813. — Thoughts on the 
burying of Picot de Clorivi&re. In presence of the corpse. 

* 

In what strange apparel does our Joseph Picot appear 
among us this day ! Why the silence of that voice which 
used to join with us to praise our Lord ? Why this mo- 
tionless and lifeless corpse among his lively friends ? Why 

1 The original is in French. 



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are these eyes closed to the light of day ? Why is this 
cold countenance unmoved by our expressions and our 
love for him ? Ah ! Picot no more enjoys the life of this 
world. And are there no better hopes for him? There 
are. Oh, my young friends, there are, and the most happy, 
the most exalted hopes. No voice is here to be raised in 
judgment against this innocent boy ; not one reproach to 
arrest the merciful sentence at the hand of his God. Our 
dear Picot was harmless. Not even in the trouble of his 
last and long delirium did he betray the least wickedness 
from his secret heart Ah, no ; when disordered nature 
was incapable of disguise (and in the confused speeches of 
sickness could not have concealed the propensities of a bad 
soul), what were the ravings of Picot, day after day? To 
repeat again and again his prayers, — to express in impo- 
tent efforts his gratitude to his attendants ; to bless them 
and love them, to call for his uncle, his masters, and com- 
panions, has been the only train of his discourse. 

To call many times a day for the precious image of his 
dying Saviour ; to kiss and fix his eyes upon His hands, 
His feet and side, and cling his lips to the sacred wounds 
one after the other was his continual exercise, doing all he 
could to answer every call on his piety, often expressing 
his desire to receive his first communion. Yes, such the 
last day of his short life, now transferred to eternity. 0 
eternity ! the only word to speak this moment — eternity ! 

Picot ! we shall see you no more, — speak to you no 
more ; you leave us ! descending into the grave now opened 
to receive you in its deep asylum ; you will rest with our 
Delany, we will return to this ajtar and back to our dwell- 
ing, but you will return with us no more. Go ! yet fear 
not one hair of your head could fall unnoticed when pass- 
vol. n.— 10 



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146 MEMOIR AND LETTEKS OF 

ing through the shades of death and the trial of your dis- 
solution. All were counted, the whole of this body is but 
a sacred deposit for the grave, which must restore the 
whole by the irresistible command. But long before, your 
soul will have enjoyed, while we remain to hope and 
strive. Happy child, taken from the dangers amidst 
which we remain ; happy child, to make the port so soon. 
Ah, should expiations remain for earthly frailties, the 
piety of so many friends will not abandon. We will unite 
in the same prayer for you and dear Delany ; your com- 
mon silence will be most eloquent to us, telling us so 
plainly our life is but a vapor, the world a passing scene, 
its dearest hopes illusive ; that God and eternity is our all 
and all forever. 

Thoughts on the B. V. M. — In returning to the valley 
from 3ft. St. Marys, on the Feast of the Assumption, 1813. 
— The glory and happiness of the Catholic Church to sing 
the praises of Mary. The striking proof she is the true 
spouse of Christ, since she best loves, honors, and cher- 
ishes her whom Jesus Christ himself so much honors, 
loves, and cherishes. 

1. The glory and happiness of Mary — her predesti- 
nation — was loved with an eternal love — what then the 
delight of the Holy Trinity in her ! 

2. Her immaculate conception — one soul again coming 
in innocence — what a sight for angels ! If we beheld a 
soul with the eyes of faith after baptism — angels taking 
their watch around it 

3. Mary's presentation. 

4. Her obscure life : humble, poor, retired, modest, a 
model to young virgins — gloriously hidden in God. 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 147 

5. The annunciation ! What glory ! Embassy of an 
archangel. God taking flesh from her. The same which 
we now adore in our J esus, in J esus our Redeemer, in 
Jesus glorified at the right hand, in Jesus received in the 
Eucharist. 

Oh, Anna, mother of Mary ! how glorious ! how dear 
a delight to be so closely related to Mary ! 

6. Jesus nine months in Mary's womb. — Oh, Mary! 
these nine months. 

7. Jesus on the breast of Mary feeding on her milk. 1 
How long she must have delayed the weaning of such a 
child ! ! ! ! 

8. The infancy of Jesus — in her lap — on her knees 
as on His throne, while the rolling earth adorned with 
mountains, trees, and flowers, is the throne of Mary and 
her blessed Infant caressing, playing in her arms. Oh, 
Mary, how weak these words ! 

9. The youth, the obscure life, the public life of Jesus. 
Mary always, everywhere, at every moment, day and 
night, conscious she was His mother. Oh, glorious, happy 
mother, even through the sufferings and ignominies of her 
Son. Her full conformity to His will — Oh, virtues of Mary 
— the constant delight of the blessed Trinity — she alone 
giving more glory than all heaven together. Mother of 
God ! Mary ! Oh, the purity of Mary ! the humility, pa- 
tience, love of Mary ! to imitate at humblest distance. 

10. Mary at the foot of the cross. The piercing 
sword. The last word. The last look of Jesus to Mary. 

11. The delight of the Holy Ghost descending at Whit- 
suntide on Mary. 

1 As (after Seduliua) sings our holy mother the Church in her sweet Christmas 
hymn: Et lacie modico pastus est, per quern nec ales esurit. 



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12. How happy this earth to possess her so long. A 
secret blessing to the rising church. The perfect praise 
arising from earth to the blessed Trinity so long as she 
remained. How darkened in the sight of angels when she 
was removed from it. Glory of Mary since her assumption. 
Rejoicing of the angels on her arrival in heaven. Her 
passing through the diiFerent hierarchies of angels and 
saints. Jesus crowning her. Her continual praise to 
God and intercession for us. The beginning of her 
eternity. 

Conclusion. — Joy to be Catholics. Zeal for the honor 
of Mary. Pleasing Jesus much by pleasing her. Faithful 
service of praise, love, and homage to her ; and especial- 
ly by continual remembrance and imitation of her vir- 
tues. Vain to wear the outward sign of her children on 
the heart, without the virtues of meekness, purity, and 
charity so dear to her, within. Happiness of those gone 
to Mary — face to face with her. Aspirations to follow 
them in our own happy assumption. Amen ! 

Dear Remembrances. — It would be such ingratitude 
to die without noting them. 

At four years of age — sitting alone on a step of the 
doorway looking at the clouds, while my little sister Cath- 
arine, two years old, lay in her coffin ; they asked me : 
did I not cry when little Kitty was dead ? No, because 
Kitty is gone up to heaven. I wish I could go too with 
mamma. 

At six — taking my little sister Emma up to the high- 
est window, and showing her the setting sun, told her 
God lived up in heaven, and good children would go up 



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there. Teaching her her prayers. My poor mother-in- 
law, then in great affliction, taught me the 22d Psalm : 
The Lord is my Shepherd, the Lord ruleth me. . . . Though 
I walk in the midst of the shadow of death, I will fear no 
evil, for thou art with me ; and all through life it has been 
the favorite one. 

New Rochelle — Miss Molly B.'s — at eight years of 
age. — Girls taking birds' eggs, I gathering up the young 
ones on a leaf, seeing them palpitate, hoping the poor 
little mother, hopping from bough to bough, would come and 
bring them to life. Cried because the girls would destroy 
them, and afterwards always loved to play and walk 
alone. Admiration of the clouds. Delight to gaze at them : 
always with the look for my mother and little Kitty in 
heaven. Delight to sit alone by the water-side, wandering 
hours on the shore, singing and gathering shells. Every 
little leaf, and flower, or insect, animal, shades of clouds, 
or waving trees : objects of vacant, unconnected thoughts 
of God and heaven. Pleasure in learning any thing pious. 
Delight in being with old people. 

Twelve years old. — Foolish, ignorant, childish heart. 
Home again at my fathers. Pleasure in reading prayers. 
Love to nurse the children and sing little hymns over the 
cradle. A night passed in terror, saying all the while, 
our Father. 

Fourteen years of age. — At uncle B.'s, New Rochelle, 
again. The Bible so enjoyed, and Thomson and Milton. 
Hymns said on the rocks, surrounded with ice, in trans- 
ports of first pure enthusiasm. Gazings at the stars — 
Orion. Walks among cedars singing hymns. Pleasure in 
every thing, coarse, rough, smooth, or easy, always gay. 
Spring there. Joy in God that He was my Father. In- 



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150 MEMOIR AND LETTERS OP 

sisting that He should not forsake me. My father away, 
perhaps dead ; but God was my Father, and I quite inde- 
pendent of whatever might happen. Delight of sitting in 
the fields with Thomson, surrounded by lambs and sheep, 
or drinking the sap of the birch, or gathering colored 
stones on the shore. At home. Methodist spinning girls. 
Their continual hymn, " And am I only born to die," made 
deep impression ; yet, when I would be my own mistress, 
I intended to be a Quaker, because they wore such pretty 
plain hats (excellent reason !). 

Sixteen years of age. — Family disagreement. Could 
not guess why, when I spoke kindly to relations, they did 
not speak to me. Could not even guess how any one 
could be an enemy to another. Folly, sorrows, romance, 
miserable friendships ; but all turned to good — and 
thoughts of how silly to love any thing in this world. 

At eighteen — fine plans of a little country home ; to 
gather all the children around and teach them their pray- 
ers, and keep them clean, and teach them to be good. 
Then passionate wishes that there were such places in 
America as I read of in novels, where people could be shut 
up from the world, and pray, and be always good. Many 
thoughts of running away to such places over the sea, in 
disguise, working for a living. Astonished at people's 
care in dress, in the world, etc. Thousand reflections 
after being at public places why I could not say my pray- 
ers and have good thoughts as if I had been at home. 
Wishing to philosophize and give every thing its place, not 
able though to do both. Preferred going to my room to 
any amusement out of it. Alas, alas, alas, tears of blood. 
My God ! horrid subversion of every good promise in the 
boldest presumption. God had created me. I was very 



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miserable. He was too good to condemn so poor a crea- 
ture made of dust — driven by misery (this the wretched 
reasoning). Laudanum. The praise and thanks of excess- 
ive joy not to have done the horrid deed. The thousand 
promises of eternal gratitude. 

My own home at twenty. — The world and heaven too, 
quite impossible ! so every moment clouded with that 
fear : My God, if I enjoy this I lose you. Yet no true 
thought of who I would lose; rather fear of hell and of 
being shut out from heaven. Annina a thousand times 
offered and given up while in her innocence, fearing so 
much she would live and be lost. Daily entreaties to 
God to take whom He pleased, or all if He pleased, only 
not to lose Him. Widows' society. Delight in the con- 
tinual contrast of all my blessings with the miseries I 
saw ; yet always resigning them. Evenings alone : writing 
— Bible — Psalms in burning desires of heaven. Contin- 
ual offering up my sweet Anna, and William, and Richard, 
and Catharine, and little Rebecca from their first entrance 
into the world. Fear of their eternal loss the prevailing 
care through all the pains and pleasures of a mother. 
Midnight Te Deums hushing them. United soul with Re- 
becca, Harriet, and Cecilia. Confidence in God through 
all the varieties of our pains and trials. 

At twenty-nine. — Faith in our Leghorn voyage. Re- 
liance that all would turn to good. Delight in packing up 
all our valuables to be sold : enjoying the adieu to each 
article to be mine no more. Thousand secret hopes in 
God of separation from the world. Poor fool — no sacra- 
ment Sunday. Most reverently drank, on my knees be- 
hind the library door, the little cup of wine and tears to 
represent what I so much desired. Kissing of the little 



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gold cross, my father had given me, on my watch chain. 
Unions and resolutions, while loving it as the mark of my 
Captain and Master whom I was so valiantly to follow. 
Four o'clock risings. Thoughts in the clouds. Glowing 
heart at rising of the sun. Te Deums. Rebecca's tears 
and mine over our picture of the crucifixion. Our mid- 
night prayers. Sunset hymn and silent tears of longing 
for true life. Partiug. So full of hope in God, and looks 
at our heavenly home. Liberty and enjoyment of the soul 
at sea through every pain and sorrow. Te Deum on the 
vessel's deck. Gazing at the moon and stars. 

Dream in the Bay of Gibraltar of the angel on the 
green hill waiting for me over the black, steep mountains. 

Ave Maria bells as we entered the port of Leghorn 
while the sun was setting. Full confidence in God. An- 
nina's first question in the Lazaretto when her dear father 
took his first sleep — " Mother, is not God with us here ? " 
(clasping her arms round my neck as we knelt) — " Mother, 
if papa dies will not God take care of us ?" Her delight 
to read the Psalms and Testament with us. Her little word 
about Herodias, who she said, " thought to do great things 
by beheading the Baptist, but she only let him out of 
prison and sent him to heaven." Her terrors — dreaming 
some one was stabbing her, and awakening in my arms 
she said : " So it will be with me when I die ; I will 
awaken from all my fears and be with God." Her fearful 
sobbing heart to mine, while kneeling in each other's arms 
by the death-bed of her father. Our earnest prayers for 
him after his departure. Our first night of rest alone in 
Leghorn; our prayers and hope in God. The Filicchis' 
love for her and her sweet behavior. Little pious heart 
seen in every thing. Her passion for visiting the churches, 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



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and pressing questions were there any Catholics in our 
New York, and could we not be Catholics ? 

My first entrance into the church of the blessed Virgin 
Mary of Montenero, at Leghorn. At the elevation a 
young Englishman near me, forgetting deceney, whispered, 
" this is their real presence." The shame I felt at his inter- 
ruption, and the quick thought: If our Lord is not there, 
why did the Apostle threaten ? How can he blame for 
not discerning the Lord's body if it is not there ? How 
should they, for whom He has died, eat and drink their 
damnation (as says the Protestant text), if the blessed 
saerament is but a piece of bread? 

The anguish of heart, when the blessed sacrament 
would be passing through the street, at the thought, Was I 
the only one He did not bless ? In particular the day He 
passed my window, when prostrate on the floor I looked 
up to the blessed Virgin, appealing to her that as the 
mother of God, she must pity me, and obtain from Him 
that blessed faith of these happy souls around me. Rising 
after many sighs and tears, the little prayer-book Mrs. 
Amabilia had given Annina was under my eye, which fell 
on St. Bernards prayer to the blessed Virgin — Memo- 
rare. How earnestly I said it; how many thoughts on 
the happiness of those who possessed this, the blessed 
faith of Jesus still on earth with them, and how I should 
enjoy to encounter every misery of life with the heavenly 
consolation of speaking heart to heart with Him in His 
tabernacles, and the security of finding Him in His 
churches. The reverence and love for Mrs. Amabilia 
Filicchi when she came home from communion. Impres- 
sions of awful reverence at the mass of Nicholas Baragazzi 
in the private chapel, and full continuance of it when he 



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154 MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 

visited our chamber (Annina sick) in his robe of ceremony 
after the marriage of his brother and sister. 

The heavenly words and instructions of Anthony 
Filicchi teaching me the sign of the cross, and with what 
spirit to use it. His Amabilia teaching me why she used 
it in the petition, " Lead us not into temptation," and why 
Giannina used it when unwilling to fulfill her orders. 
New and delightful secrets to me. Strong desire to take 
holy water, and fear to profane it. First entrance in the 
Church of the Annunciation at Florence. Oh, my God, 
you only can know. 

Annina's sweet love, and prayers, and delight to be 
alone with me. Thousand, thousand thoughts of our God, 
our Father, and Father of my darlings at home so far, far 
away. First impressions on reading St. Francis de 
Sales' Devout Life. His chapter on widows. Delight in 
reading and kneeling at every page of that, and a book 
called Unerring authority of the Catholic Church. 

Philip Filicchi's last words : " I meet you at the day 
of judgment." So firm a heart that I would try to do the 
will of God. Last mass in Leghorn, at four in the morn- 
ing : lost in the indescribable reverence and impressions, 
kneeling in a little confessional, perceived not the ear was 
waiting for me till the friar came out to ask Mrs. Filicchi 
a why I did not begin ? " Sunrise on her balcony as I bade 
her a last adieu ; the embrace of my little angel Giorgino 
and her beloved children ; our Lord and our God ! 

Sunset over the island of Ivica. Thoughts of hell as 
an immense ocean of fire ; waves lost in waves of ever- 
lasting anguish. 

New York, June 4th, 1804. — There the points of remem- 
brance. Rebecca, my own Rebecca, dying. Waiting, she 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 155 

said, to " die with sister." No home now ; but all my 
lovely children. The pure heavens above, and God there, 
and the heart of hope and trust in all turning to good, 
stronger than ever. Saw myself now in the moment of 
life when I had with my dear "ones a full claim on every 
promise to the fatherless and widow. And every hour and 
day that passed confirmed the most cheerful reliance on 
our God— our all. 

A thousand pages could not tell the sweet hours now 
with my departing Rebecca. The wonder at the few lines 
I could point out (in her continually fainting and exhausted 
condition) of the true faith and service of our God. She 
could only repeat : " Your people are my people, your 
God my God," and every day the delight to see her eager- 
ness to read our spiritual mass together until the Sunday 
morning of our last Te Deum, at the sight of the glowing 
purple clouds in which the sun was rising, and her most 
tender thanksgiving that we had known and loved each 
other so closely here, to be reunited a moment after in our 
dear eternity. Purest joy to see her released from the 
thousand pains and trials I must pass through, not one of 
which but she would have made her own. 

Now my entrance with my darlings in our little dear 
humble dwelling. Their tender doating on their own 
mother. My Annina, my William, my Richard, my Kit, 
and sweetest Bee — at this hour yet, with what delight I 
look back at the hours of love around our fire, or little 
table, or at the piano ; our stories every evening, lively 
airs, and thousand endearments after the lessons and work 
of the day, when each one helped dear mother. Our first 
Hail Mary in our little closet at night prayers, when 
Annina said, " Oh, ma, let us say Hail Mary," — " Do, ma," 



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said Willy, and Hail Mary we all said ; little Bee looking 
in my face to catch the words she could not pronounce, 
but in a manner that would have made all laugh if mother's 
tears had not fixed their attention. The thousand prayers, 
and tears, and cries from the uncertain soul which now 
succeeded until Ash Wednesday, 14th March, 1805, it 
entered the Ark of St. Peter with its beloved ones. Now 
the crowding remembrances, from that day to the 25th, of 
a first communion in the Church of God. Hours counted — 
the watch of the heart panting for the supreme happiness 
it had so long desired. The secret — the mystery of 
benediction — heavenly delight — bliss inconceivable to 
angels. No words for that. Faith burning. Watching 
for morning's dawn through broken slumbers — at last saw 
the first rays of the sun on the cross of St. Peter's steeple, 
burnished so bright it seemed that morning. Every step 
of the two miles counted; so unworthy to enter that 
street, — the door of the church — finally to approach the 
altar. The lively hope that since He had done so much, 
He would at last admit so poor a creature to Himself for- 
ever. The walk back with the treasure of my soul. First 
kiss and blessings on my five darlings bringing such a 
master to our little dwelling. Now the quiet, satisfied 
heart, in the thousand encounters of the cross embraced 
so cordially ; but so watchful to preserve peace with all. 
Most painful remembrances now. Yet grateful for them; 
the order of our grace so evident through all. 

1808. — The last sound of the bells in New York when 
the vessel left the wharf and we sailed for Baltimore. 
Dear friends left ; but I an object of pain and mortifica- 
tion to the dearest. 

Arrival at Baltimore, at the door of St. Mary's Chapel : 



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the rolling organ — kyrie eleison — awful ceremonies seen 
for the first time. Josephine and Rebecca so accustomed 
to be in my arms in church (crowded at New York), still 
hanging on mother in mute amazement and delight. An- 
nina's frequent stolen glance of surprise and pleasure this 
Corpus Christi day of wonders to us, and consecration of 
St. Marys. 

First charities of Mr. Dubourg and of his excellent 
sister, Madame Fournier, to the stranger and orphans ! 
My lovely, good, sweet boys at Georgetown. After two 
years' absence in their mother's arms. Let the children 
of prosperity rejoice : yet can they never guess the least 
of our joys who possessed nothing but in each other. The 
first meeting of my five in our beautiful little home so 
near the chapel for our daily mass. Round, round the 
wheel now of daily blessing. But how little improved, 
and how often perverted ! Now the thought of the good 
Mr. Cooper of a school for poor children. Mr. Dubourg's 
incessant exertions to accomplish it. Blessed Cecilia sent, 
and Maria ; our ever dear Susan next, and little Mary -Ann. 
Now our Cecily from New York, and beloved Harriet 
to nurse her. Their first impressions and pleasures : how 
delightful to poor sister ! Our set out for the mountain. 
Our kind, kind friend Weise. Mr. Dubois's kind recep- 
tion. Pure and innocent Ellen; dear Sally; excellent 
Mrs. Thompson. Woods, rocks, walks. Harriet's first 
anxieties to go to mass, to evening adoration. Our visit 
at eleven to the church, the bright moonlight night of St. 
Mary Magdalen. The evening I ran from the woods to 
meet Annina, Josephine, and Rebecca ; oh, oh, how sweet ! 
Then William and Richard arrived with sister Rose, Kitty, 
Cecilia, Maria, Susan, Mary. 



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A thousand pains. A thousand, thousand pleasures. 
Order of grace. 

My William anointed and so well prepared for death. 
His quiet and silence from the frenzy of his fever, while 
his Aunt Harriet and mother said the litanies for him. 
Harriet's first communion on the Feast of the B. V. M. of 
Mercy, Sept. 24th. Her last communion the Feast of the 
Expectation, 18th Dec, 1809. " All peace and love," she 
said. " Hear the beating of His heart in the garden of 
Gethsemane. See how they scourge Him ! Oh, my 
Jesus, I suffer with you. Why will you not bring Him 
to me ? My Jesus, you know that I believe in you, I 
hope in you, I love you." 

Cecilia's gentle death the 29th of April, 1810. Her 
burial. The children gathering wild flowers. 

Anniversary of St. Vincent, 1811. Kempis. 118th 
Psalm in the choir. 

Evening before Annina's death. Her singing : — 

" Though all the powers of hell surround, 
No evil will I fear; 
For while my Jesus is my friend, 
No danger can come near." 

Her " JSsus, Marie, Joseph/ 9 all the night. 

The last clasp of her hands and look to heaven when 
she was asked " if she was not grateful for all the goodness 
of our Lord to her f 

A rose, a budding rose, 

Blasted before its bloom; 
Whose innocence did sweets disclose 
Beyond a flower's perfume. 
From pain and sorrow now relieved, 
Immortal blooms in heaven. 



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1814. — Rebecca Seton. — Letters. — Extracts from the 
Note-Book. — Detached Pieces. — Sisters sent to 
Philadelphia. — Letters. 

Rebecca had a young companion at St. Joseph's, 
with whom she contracted a spiritual friendship, of which 
some charming indications remain in a little note-book 
that once belonged to Annina. Her mother copied them 
with her own hand from the originals. She would ap- 
pear, from the style of which a child of her daughter's 
age is hardly capable, to have retouched them also ; so 
that, as they now read, they are the sentiments and gen- 
erally the exact words of Rebecca, but revised by Eli- 
zabeth. 1 

A PRAYER OF CONSECRATION TO OUR BLESSED MOTHER BY RE- 
BECCA AND MARY-STANISLAUS. 

February bth> 1814. 
Oh, our blessed mother, we now consecrate our poor 
little hearts to you. Oh, receive our offering. From this 
day we will begin, and with your assistance continue to 
try our very best to love and serve you faithfully. Oh ! 
our dear, dearest mother, intercede for your poor little 

1 It is with a certain diffidence that I give these little particulars of Rebecca, as 
they will perhaps have a local interest only. There are many in the United States, 
whose early (peradventure and whose happiest) days were passed amidst the hal- 
lowed memories of the Mountain and the Valley, who will read them with pleasure. 
To these I offer no apology: indeed, they would not forgive me the omission. It is 
of the general public that I ask indulgence ; and what is here said, I wish under- 
stood of several other things in this book. 



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children before the throne of your Divine Son, for He will 
not deny you, His dear mother, any thing ; and, therefore, 
we beg of you to ask the dear virtue of purity of heart 
which is so very pleasing to you and your Divine Son, 
and that of modesty and love. But above all, our blessed 
mother, obtain for us a happy death, that we may reign 
forever in the blessed mansions of peace and love, which is 
our true country and home. Amen. 

The rules and resolutions which these pious young 
associates had agreed to follow were: "To renew the 
consecration every feast of the Blessed Virgin. To keep 
strict silence from nine to ten, and in that hour to say 
prayers for the souls in purgatory. To say for one 
another every day the prayer of St. Bernard : Remember, 
0 most pious Virgin Mary. Never to listen to detraction. 
Whenever any of the girls did or said any thing mortify- 
ing, to try and bear it patiently. To be kind to all. To 
obey the Sisters in every thing." 

It was by such practices of religion that Elizabeth 
fostered in her daughter a spirit of piety which alone 
could turn her thoughts away from the sufferings she 
had to bear, and make her resigned to the adorable will 
of God. Writing to a friend about this time, she says 
of Rebecca : " Poor darling ! her life, and spirits, and 
piety would delight you ; yet she feels deeply the distress 
of her situation." 

In the month of April Rebecca was sent to Baltimore 
to receive confirmation, which was given her on the 



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24th. 1 While there she was a guest in the house of a 
lady who treated her as one of her own children. Elizar 
beth was very grateful for this kindness. Writing to 
some one in Philadelphia about Rebecca, she says that 
she was then with " Mrs. Chatard, the wife of Dr. Pierre 
Chatard, in Saratoga Street (same one the archbishop 
lives in), who is my particular friend, and the first French 
physician in Baltimore. She is a most dear woman, and 
the kindest friend I ever found since I left you." 

ELIZABETH TO REBECCA IN BALTIMORE. 

Tuesday. 

My soul's little darling — more and more beloved since 
the sacred gift has been bestowed on you. Oh ! keep it 
carefully, and watch every thought and word. My dar- 
ling, your tender Baltimore mother, Madame Chatard, will 
regulate all for you ; only be obedient and good, and you 
will be happy. The boys send you much love. Joseph- 
ine also. All would write to you, but they think you will 
so soon return. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, bless my dar- 
ling. Your own 

Mother. 

Rebecca's thoughts on annina's birthday. 

UMay, 1814. 
Mother's room close to the chapel. My Annina, the 
morning is beautiful, the sky serene, the sun shining, the 

1 1 keep her little confirmation picture in my breviary, just as my father did in 
hifl prayer-book given him by Bishop Dubois. He received it from the Rev. Thomas 
A. McCaffrey, that true priest of God, who, long pastor at Emmitsburg, fell a victim 
vol. n.— 11 



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birds warbling their sweet notes, and my Annina lies cold 
in the solitary woods. She sees no beautiful sky, she 
sees no sunshine, she hears none of the sweet notes of the 
little birds around her; no, oh no, my Annina lies cold 
and stiff in the silence of the grave. Cecilia and our dear 
Harriet the same : all there, cold and stiff, their faces 
pale, their eyes closed in death. Oh, my Jesus, what an 
awful sight ! Those whom we once so dearly loved, who 
once were so gay, who once listened with delight to the 
song of the lark now singing on the tree, its notes un- 
heeded echoing through the wood. My Annina hears it 
not, my Harriet hears it not, my Cecily hears it not ; all 
is silent to them. And shall we see you again ? If you 
do with Jesus live, remember those you loved so well, 
who shed so many tears for you. Oh ! pray for us, dear- 
est ones, pray for us. How does my heart sigh and long 
to be united to you ! 

REBECCA TO MARY-STANISLAUS. 

May 3d. 

My Own Dear Stans, — My heart is very full, thinking 
about our beloved Annina. You know how I loved her, 
and how much more I love her now. I knew not my love 
until we were separated. Many a thought of regret and 
repentance I have for having ever given her any trouble. 
My beloved, dearest Anna, how does my heart long to be 
again united to you ! 

May 29^, Whitsunday. 
My Most Dear Stanislaus, — To day we both had the 
happiness of receiving our only Beloved, through whom 

to charity during the cholera visitation, and to whom it was given (as says a note 
on the back) by Sister Helena, Oct. 3lBt, 1841. 



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we hope to receive the blessed Spirit, as He sent it on 
the disciples. You know how tenderly our dear Lord 
speaks to them in the Holy Gospel of to-day, where He 
so sweetly tells them to give them comfort : " Let not 
your hearts be troubled." Then let us trust in His dear 
mercy, and let not our hearts be so much troubled about 
our sins as to forget to trust in Him. Oh, no. How 
could He call Himself our tender and dear Father, if He 
had not compassion on His children. I was reading to-day 
about those who are in trouble of mind. It says that 
when we are troubled, we forget how good our Jesus is ; 
we do not think how merciful He has been to us. Ah, 
let us not be so. I told my Jesus this morning when I 
had the happiness of receiving Him : " Ah, could I say with 
St. Paul, it is not I who lives, but it is Jesus lives in me" 
My Stanislaus, peace. 

* 

June 3d. 

May my dear Mary-Stanislaus be blessed. All day I 
have been expecting a few lines from one I love so ten- 
derly. Ah, shall we have the happiness of receiving our 
Jesus next Thursday ? I fear not ; but do not let us give 
up the dear hope of again having the happiness of being 
united to our only Beloved by His happy coming. Oh, 
may our hearts which have once been united to Him, their 
good Shepherd, like poor little lost sheep, brought back 
to the happy fold, and compelled, as it were, to stay 
among the happy flock; ah, may they never go astray 
again, may they, as it were, be chained with the chains 
of Divine love to their only refuge. Oh, those hearts 
which were, and will be, I hope again and again, conse- 



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crated and devoted to Him forever, may He protect 
them from every danger, and keep them under the shadow 
of His wing, bless, sanctify, and make them His for ever 
and ever, for all eternity. The bell rings my own dear 
Stans. 

June 21#£. 

My Dear Mary-Stanislaus, — I salute you in the 
Sacred Hearts. You know one of our little rules is the 
sweet virtue of modesty which the blessed Saint Aloysius 
practiced so much. It is one of the ways to prepare our 
hearts for the happy day so fast approaching. You can 
not think what I felt when I read the sweet meditation 
this morning, on the grace and love of our Jesus for us in 
the divine communion. Oh, my Stanislaus, how sweet it 
is to go and talk to our Dearest in the Tabernacle. Go, 
my darling, throw yourself at His dear feet, speak and 
open your heart to Him, tell Him all your wants and all 
your sufferings. I went to Him this morning and told 
Him all my little wants and desires, and how much I 
wished to please Him. I know you wish the same most 
sincerely. Your ever loving little friend. 

Mrs. Seton once lent Annina's note-book to the Rev. 
Mr. Brut6, and before returning it he wrote something in 
it himself; some little thoughts so sweet, so full of true 
charity, so fragrant of the good odor of Jesus Christ, that 
they must have their place here. They are given in the 
original, in his unconnected French, mixed so quaintly 
with English, of which he knew not very much as yet. 
No translation could render the unction of his native 



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language. Every sentiment is worthy of him who was 
called u the good Brut£," and is remembered at Emmits- 
burg as " the Angel of the Mountain." 

BBUTE'S THOUGHTS ON THE EVE OF CORPUS CHBISTI, AND 
ON THE SOLEMNITY ITSELF. 

Vetlky Corpus Christi, 1814. — Jour pluvieux. Mes 
larmes en torrent pour les calamity de mon pays. Je 
revenais k travers les bois de tourmenter de nouveau un 
p^cheur de vieille date que rien n'ebranle. J'etois triste. 
J'entends trotter leg&reinent derrifere moi ; puis hem, 
hem k demi voix. Je me retourne, c'6toit le pauvre petit 
n£gre de Mme McCatee qui a lair d'un arbrisseau k demi 
froisse dont rien ne cherit le d^veloppement : tout jeune 
et un air vieux — mais l'ceil si bon, si simple. II me re- 
gardait d'un terrain plus bas, son morceau de chapeau k 
la main et tirant le pied derri&re lui, mais avec un air ! 
J'aurais ri sans que jai pens6 au grand Abraham qui re- 
gardait, je pense, ainsi le Seigneur quand il vint prier 
pour Sodome. II se souvenait de notre autre dimanche soir 
ensemble, et la vache. " Mon enfant, avez-vous fait votre 
pri&re ce matin?" " Oui, monsieur/' <4 De tout votre 
coeur ? 99 66 Oui, monsieur." " II faut faire comme cela tous 
les matins et tous les soirs." " Oui, monsieur." J e continuais 
ma route. II a couru plus 16g&rement qu'avant ; et cette 
fois j'ai entendu sa petite voix : " I go to church every Sun- 
day." " C'est bien — c'est bien." Et je continuais marchant 
avec mes pens^es. " Every Sunday, sir, I go to church." 
" Oh, bien, mon enfant, il faut bien aimer le bon Dieu ; " et 
j'ai tir6 une medaille et je la lui ai donne ! et il a tire le 
pied derri&re avec un regard et une inclination ! Je me suis 



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retourn£ — k quatre pas de Ik il baisait samedaille ! H a cou- 
ru tout le chemin apres moi. J'arrivais k la inaison avec 
la pensee du commencement, mes yeux prets k repandre 
leurs grosses larmes : c'etait me disais-je comme Abraham 
avant le Seigneur ! Pauvre petit, il Lui est plus agreable que 
moi ! J'aurais du m'arreter d'a vantage et lui faire un peu 
de catechisme. Pauvre enfant ! nud pieds, en rags, et un 
morceau de chapeau — noir — ignorant — sans m&re, sans 
pfere, sans ami, personne qui cherisse sa pauvre tige 
froissee, abandonnee ; dormant sur le floor dans une gue- 
nille, courant le matin et le soir apr&s la vache — voilk tout. 
Mais il est baptise, son Pfere celeste est infiniment bon, 
le ciel s'ouvrira pour lui! Se fermera — h61as ! pour tant 
de riches, de savants, d'opulants maitres de n&gres. 0 
le ciel ! ce petit enfant Coulez mes larmes. 

DizJune, 1814, — Anniversary of ordination sacerdotal, 
dix Juin, 1808. — 0 my God ! J'ai dit la messe. Mon 
divin Maitre — k Toraison — k la priere des enfans. Au 
bas du saint autel comme vous 6tiez avec moi. Ah, jour 
si memorable pour mon eternity — et pour celle de tant 
d'autres. Vous etiez avec moi, mon Maitre, au Gloria in 
Excelsis — k ce touchant lauda Sion dont pas un mot ce 
semble n'a pu s'£chapper k mon coeur. A memento : mo- 
ment redou table et delicieux — je desirais ardemment quon 
vous reconnut et honor&t en mes faibles mains. Ah, que 
j'etais bien avec vous k la communion et encore plus 
quand je vous ai presents ainsi d&s 5i du matin k cinq 
Ames vertueuses. 0 le fremissement de plaisir en les 
approchant — (four names illegible* women) — Mrs. Thomp- 
son et ses lunettes — je le revois k ce moment. Mon 
Maitre ! Je vous ai pris avec moi sur ma poitrine. J ai 
descendu la montagne vers Aloysius Elder. Le souvenir 



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vif de ma France m'a saisi et de la premiere fois que je 
vous portai ainsi dans la campagne. Ah, nous chantions ; 
et j'ai commence k chanter tout seul Adoro te supplez 
comme si cela vous eut plu. Vous avez fait couler en 
abondance les larmes si delicieuses, 0 mon Maitre. Je 

l'ai chante tout entier jusqu h la maison de pauvre B . 

Personne — quatre petites ehenes (?). J'ai resolu de le 
chanter aux Soeurs. Ah, si j'avais de la voix ! Je me suis 
souvenu que je chantais aux convents— chagrins plutot 
pour moi et ma pauvre m&re qui y consentit peut-etre par 
tendresse et nous vous deplumes. 

Arrive, mon coeur s'est gonfle en vous d^posant sur la 
petite table. Les pleurs ont coule tout le temps que je 
confessais et exhortais. Puis un enfant sur le lit que je 
baptisai il y a un mois. On voulait l'enlever. Oh! non — 
oh non, c'est Tange et la louange parfaite. J'ai parle sur 
la pensee que vous avez si longtems eu votre divin sacri- 
fice et votre tabernacle dans cette maison meme. Je me 
suis retire et ai commence mon office entre les ondulations 
du ble que je traversais. Les pleurs en abondance re- 
doubt en levant les regards vers l'eglise suspendue au des- 
sus des arbres et Mr. Duhamel k ce moment k l'autel. Ah, me 
suis-je dit, je jouis done du bonheur le plus pure — le plus 
exquis qui soit sur la terre ! Et alors seulement la pensee 
de l'anniversaire de mon sacerdoce m'est revenue et m'a 
roule vaguement et doucement pendant le retour. 0 
matinee belle et pure ! 0 mon Dieu si bon, si bon — que 
vous rendrai-je ! Appelez-moi au cieL J'ai resolu en 
simplicite (?). Cette pensee a encore charme de plus en 
plus mon coeur enivr6. Soit beni — et — et — et. Mon 
Dieu benissez notre terre ! L'&me spirituel de mon coeur. 



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Elizabeth used frequently to jot down her reveries, 
reflections, soliloquies, the aspirations of her soul, etc., 
but as she usually did so on any fragment of paper, on 
the backs of letters, on blank pages of her books of devo- 
tion, it has been impossible, fifty years afterwards, to 
collect many of these scraps. 1 The following are a few, 
and it may be said in the words of Brute, writing on the 
cover of a little packet of her papers : " All picture that 
soul." 



Poor old Mrs. Lindsey ! She must see the mother. 
" Come, show me your rooms," she says, " and your pic- 
tures — it will tender my heart" Here is our Redeemer. 
" The Lord be merciful ! is it He ?" dropping her courtesy ; 
*' but where is the Holy Queen ? " There, with our little 
Jesus. " 0 ! 0 ! 0 ! " And here is the Pope! " Oh, bless 
him. I pray for him — look what he sent me," pulling 
out her Agnus Dei. Poor old Mrs. Lindsey ! yet she likes 
not to be thought old, nor near to death. Oh, our Jesus ! 
But I will see only the good when tempted to construction. 

* 

Most precious communion — preceded by alarm and 
thoughts of fear, but all settled in one thought: how He 
loves and welcomes the poor and desolate. He said, while 
the soul was preparing : " See the blood I shed for you : 
it is at this very time invoked upon you by My priests. 

1 The ones here given are all written, as indeed might easily be observed only 
from the spirit they breathe, since becoming a Catholic, and most of them belong to 
1814, aud the three next years. 



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They prepare and you will thank. Peace, silence, the 
garden, My will, My will forever." Oh, yes — Adored, Your 
will, Your will forever. In all my late communions this 
abandonment and misery has given a mixture of sorrow, 
and peace, and love, which is made a part of the daily 
bread — though so many other bad ingredients are added. 1 

Souls destined to partake His eternal inheritance — the 
dear objects of His love. Go to Him with faith, confi- 
dence, and love — He will help. Fill yourself with His 
spirit and He will govern. He wills you to be to them as 
a tutelar angel. 2 To guide them in His love, defend them 
from their enemy. He uses you as Pharaoh made use of 
Joseph, to watch over His house. And forget not the 
account to be given, if through your fault of vigilance, of 
goodness, of firmness ! Your punishment will be pro- 
portioned to the dignity of those souls, to God's love for 
them, to the glory they might have given, to the recom- 
pense reserved for them. 

* 

To do violence to self on a thousand occasions. Re- 
nounce all satisfactions in particular. Endure the weak- 
ness of some, the murmurings of others, the delicacy of a 
third, yet forgetting no one ! But graces will be propor- 
tioned to wants and duties, and the recompense propor- 
tioned also. 

1 By herself. 

* It will be borne in mind that she was Mother-superior of the community. 



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Eternity. — In what light shall we view it? What 
shall we think of the trials and cares, pains and sorrows, 
we had once upon earth ? Oh ! what a mere nothing ! 
Let then they who weep be as though they wept not; 
they who rejoice as though they rejoiced not ; they who 
obtain as though they possess not. This world passes 
away. Eternity ! that voice to be everywhere under- 
stood. Eternity ! to love and serve Him only who is 
to be loved and eternally served and praised in heaven. 

The loss of God. — Let us represent to ourselves a lost 
soul plunged in the*" depths of despair, saying incessantly 
to itself, I have lost God, lost Him through my own fault; 
I have lost Him forever. I have lost my Creator, my 
Saviour, the source of all my happiness. He destined me 
to glory, created me for Himself, placed me awhile upon 
earth to prepare me for heaven, where I ought now to be 
reigning with Him. But I have lost Him, and through 
my own free will. 

Sunday. — Just now I come from asking when I shall 
die, when shall I sin no more ; when look well to my own 
in silence and peace — not going out of myself like a feather 
on the wind, for, at last, how much more good can be done 
by staying within with God, than by the most zealous 
speculations. Plenty of people in this world to mind 
planning and opinions, but how few to build in God and 
be silent like our own Jesus ! 

Nothing in our state of clouds and veils can I see so 
plainly as how the saints died of love and joy, since I, so 
wretched and truly miserable, can only read word after 



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word of the blessed 41st and 83d Psalms in unutterable 
feelings to our God, through the thousand pressings and 
overflowings. God, God, God ; that the supreme delight 
that He is God, and to open wide the mouth and heart 
that He may fill it ; but to be patient, gentle, humble — 
how little of that through my torrents of daily tears and 
affections so delightful and enrapturing over the old black 
book of this octave divine. 

Our God ! — A novice of the most simple and least out- 
ward polish says to me, with hands on her face, as she 
kneels before me : " All my actions, then, will be eternal 
in their consequence ? Oh, my mother !" " so says one of 
your meditations." To her heart quite lost in the thought : 
" What, then, should mine be ! " 

Sunday of Good Shepherd. — Watching night and cramp 
in the breast made a heavy head for communion. As the 
Tabernacle door opened, the pressing thought : This bread 
should not be given to a dog. Lord. Immediately, as the 
eyes closed, a white old shepherd-dog feeding from the 
shepherd's hand in the midst of the flock, as I have seen 
in the fields between Florence and Pisa, came before me. 
Yes, my Saviour, you feed your poor dog, who at first 
sight can hardly be distinguished from the sheep; but the 
canine qualities you see. 

Principal Impressions. — 1. To die with Him — then to 
see all things in the little world of St. Joseph as they are, 
so good in intention and faithful in accomplishment by the 
best souls. 2. Why care for any thing personal ? If it is 
or is not, so or not so ? The little remaining moment all 



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too little, indeed, for penance, much less for reparation of 
love. 3. Why not enjoy the interior cell with sweet peace 
and expectation, since He has arranged exterior things so 
evidently for that end? 4. The Judge who will show 
mercy in proportion as we show it. 5. The moment of 
judgment so uncertain, the punishment already for forty 
years deserved so certain. 6. The treasury so empty, 
the occasions to heap it so continual, the eternal regret if 
neglected. 7. A gloomy and constrained penance so un- 
worthy to the Beloved and unedifying to His dear ones. 
8. Perseverance : a gratuitous grace, yet forfeited so 
often ! 9. Not the least even momentary event but by 
His dear permission or appointment. 

I see nothing now in this world but the blue sky and 
our altars : all the rest is so plainly not to be looked at, 
but to be left to Him, with tears only for sin. We now 
talk all day long of my death, and how it would be just 
like the rest of the housework. What is it else ? What 
came in the world for ? Why in it so long ? But this 
last great eternal end. It seems to me so simple ; when I 
look up at the crucifix, simpler still. To-morrow, first 
Friday in the month, and Saturday, is my own day. Visi- 
tation : Magnificat at sunset this evening. 

* 

Sunday. — This morning our adored harp pressed close 
on the aching heart. Swept every chord of praise and 
thanksgiving; then weeping under the willows of that 
horrid Babylon, 1 whose waters are drunk so eagerly while 

1 Ps. 136. — "By the rivers of Babylon, there we Bat and wept when we 
remembered Sion. On the willows in the midst thereof we hung up our instru- 
ments." 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 173 

our heavenly streams pass by unheeded. The silent harp 
is pressed closer and closer. I see the door of my eter- 
nity so wide open that I turn too wild sometimes. Oh, if 
all goes well for me, what will I not do for those I love ? 
But, alas ! Yet if I am not one of His elect, it is I only 
to be blamed ; and when going down, I must still lift the 
hands to the very last look in praise and gratitude for 
what He has done to save me. What more could He have 
done ? That thought stops all. 



Link by link the blessed chain : 

One Body in Christ — He the head, we the members. 

One Faith — by His word and His church. 

One Baptism — and participation of His sacraments. 

One Hope — Him in heaven and eternity. 

One Spirit — diffused through the Holy Ghost in us all. 

One God — our dear Lord. 

One Father — we His children. 

He above all, through all, and in all. Oh, my soul, be 
fastened link by link, strong as death. 

* 

The sleep and dreams of life. The horizon of futurity. 
The awakening to another life : dawning of eternity. 
Rising sun of immortality, beauty, splendor, angelic sing- 
ing, views immense. Jesus — infinity itself, boundless 
light, all delight, all bliss, all God. All this may be to- 
morrow, if only from the sleep and dreams of life I may, 
through penance and innocence, truly awaken in Jesus. 
My Rebecca! Chere Benoni: child of sorrow, we will 
awaken in Jesus together, forever ; no more His children 
of sorrow, but of everlasting joy unspeakable. 



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Annunciation. — Anniversary of my first communion. 
One day of my poor life without a cloud. The most sin- 
gular peace from the vespers of Mary. When drawing up 
a meditation for our vows the very soul melted before 
Him. Then this mornings awakening at half-past four 
with Ave sung to arouse the dormitories. Our meditation, 
office of the Blessed Virgin Mary for preparation, mass. 
Vows so peaceable. 1 Then all day so sweetly, so gently, 
amidst the little duties of hearing, reading, speaking, sing- 
ing. Vespers and hymns ; and my dear old Holy Court, 8 
making many extracts. Surely the little clouds that pass 
over such a sun have not a name. Sin, sin, and sinners, 
the poor, blind, misled souls that know not, love not ; that 
the only grief and sadness. 



Brain and heart burning this day of St. Stephen, who 

saw heaven open. Our poor Miss M 's questions on 

faith ! I pour out the soul to God, hoping He will put 
the right words in my mouth. But how dangerous for 
me should I only darken by my mixture of words and 
feelings ! Poor girl ! she has to combat the horrid impres- 
sions of the deriders and mockers of religion, as well as 
the rest of her oppositions. Yet such good dispositions ; 

1 The Sisters of Charity renew their vows from year to year on the 25th March, 
feast of the annunciation, because it is the day upon which Mademoiselle Legras con- 
secrated herself to God, becoming after the death of her husband, in 1G25, under 
the direction of (Saint) Vincent of Paul, and conjointly with him, the foundress of 
the Gray Sisters, better known as Daughters of Charity. 

» La Cour Sainte, by Father Nicholas Caussin, a holy French Jesuit, and at one 
time confessor to Louis XIII. It is a quaintly devout book, full of good reflections 
and historical examples: these, though, sometimes wanting in criticalness. 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



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esteeming herself in this house a wretch, as I did myself 
in Leghorn. 



Oh, my Jesus! No one, no one ever wronged me. 
All have done too much, and thought less evil than there 
was. But oh, how many I have grieved, troubled, and 
scandalized ! Let me then mount to Thee on the steps of 
humility, on which Thou earnest down to me. Let me 
kiss the path of Calvary sprinkled with Thy blood, since 
it is that path alone which leads me to Thee. 

The promotion of the heavenly kingdom among souls, 
the grand object of our whole life. 

God — the Lord and Father of all. 

God — incarnate for all. 

God — to be believed by all unto salvation. 

God — to be manifested to the whole earth. 

His Cross — pointed out on Calvary. 

His Sacred Body — on our altars. 

Such multitudes in spiritual distress and desolation ! 
Oh, what motives for prayer and exertions of every loving 
soul ! 

The interest of the heavenly and everlasting kingdom 
in the true spirit of faith and hope. 

St. Lazarus? — Communion. Directed such of the Sis- 
ters to thanks for the blessed missioners sent to enlighten 
our savage land. 

1 17th December. A disciple of our Lord, and (as is commonly supposed) first 
Bishop of Marseilles — Apostle of Provence. 



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This day of manifestation! How many melting re- 
membrances when, in 1805, alone with God. The des- 
perate resolve to remain till the moment of death of no 
religion at all, since I could not find out the right one. 
With what ardor I would stretch out my arms to Him and 
cry, I will hold to you in life and in death, and hope to the 
last breath. Then, on this very Epiphany day, taking a vol- 
ume of our Bourdaloue, I open the very festival, and at the 
words : " Oh, you who have lost the star of Faith ! " The 
torrents of distress and anguish again overwhelming. To 
see a Catholic priest ; oh, it was the only supreme desire 
on earth ; but that impossible, so wrote immediately to 
(Bishop) Cheverus in Boston. His beautiful answer. 

After Communion. — No w, my God, 0 God ! Immense 
God ! will your atom ever forget this Epiphany, 1815 ? 
The gratitude of a thousand years' penance would be little 
after it. My Jesus, our Jesus ; oh, His kingdom ! But 
poor souls, unconscious ; there the point of points. 



18th August, 1817. 
Went down the chapel steps holding the fainting heart 
in the hand to our God, to meet a carriage, supposing 
William 1 there — but Mrs. Montgomery. Very well, and 
a Protestant lady with her. When I see all these people 
so various, my head and heart go wild with joy that He is 
God and our God, and we His poorest creatures. Served, 
indeed, so badly ; yet He sees the poor heart, and, I hope, 

1 Her eldest son, returned from Italy. 



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the constant fear of offending, and the thirst to see Him 
better served and loved. 

After passing a day with this poor Mrs. W ,* and 

hearing her sentiments on her family affairs and affections, 
I see plainly why so many souls remain in their deep dark- 
ness ; why the light shines so full in darkness, yet is not 
perceived. Our God ! They think they know Him, but 
have not the least idea of what spirit He is, or of their 
direct contradiction to it. Oh, the deep, sad impression 
to my soul. But we must pray, pray. 

This lady declares the Catholic faith is the true faith ; 
but I see plainly she has obstacles to grace, which our 
God alone can remove. Oh, then, to pray, pray, is all I 
see. She kept my heart so well under the press, showing 
all her oppositions to the reign of our Jesus (herself ob- 
stinately bent on supporting them), that I spent a day of 
tears and interior cry to Him. To see how they bind His 
blessed hands, pervert His word, and yet hold up the head 
in boast that they are true Christians ! How my heart 
recoils from the human details she makes while it presses 
our Lord's. She insists even that He will pity hers — the 
most completely blind of any I have yet seen : not for 
faith, indeed, since she has enough to condemn her ; but 
the absolute ignorance of the common principle : " Forgive 
as we forgive." Such obstacles to grace in one who values 
herself on piety ! Oh, our good God ! Incredible, if she 
did not herself speak it. Such is the religion of Protest- 
ants the most enlightened. Our poorest, coarsest Catho- 
olic sees so clear, compared with them, on these essential 
points of charity. 

1 The Protestant acoompanjing Mrs. Montgomery. 



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Not even little arts for obtaining fear or anxiety about 
this death can move the stronghold of peace, thanksgiv- 
ing, and abandon of every atom of life and its belonging 
to Him. Even William I can see but in the great whole. 
What life, indeed ! A gray-headed carpenter whistling 
over the plank he measures for Ellen's 1 coffin; just beyond, 
the ground plowing to plant some sort of seed ; just be- 
yond again, good Joe (I believe) digging the grave to 
plant Ellen for her glorious resurrection. Beautiful life ! 
The whole delight in God. Oh, what relish in that word ! 



The tender interior look through sorrow at eternal joy — 
through the look of our Jesus, who wept for what you now 
weep, and must weep for to the last moment of life with 
loving bitterness and boundless exertions of penance — 
penance united to the only penance of our Jesus suffering, 
naked, and dying in obedience and payment for your fault. 
Penance, yes ; life is so short, eternity so long. Let every 
fiber of the heart now suffer with Him that eternity may 
be most glorious, pure, serene, and loving. Oh, dear, dear 
eternity, come, take from this earth. 



Beware of the disgust and tediousness of life proceed- 
ing from nature rather than Divine love. Keep on with 
hard earned, but eternal, blissful merit. Try to love, yes, 

1 Sister Ellen Brady (died on the 2 1st of April, 1818), the fourteenth who was 
buried in St. Joseph's cemetery. 



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to love your trial as from the Will; 1 try to love the dear, 
good, trying one. 2 

Through piety and gratitude come to the deepest recess 
of peace, and love, and true contentment of your heart, 
and let the little, whistling, chilling wind blow above your 
head, and blast nothing of your dear interior cheerfulness, 
your bright and hopeful look at eternity. 

A night-storm at St. Joseph's. — I think I can form some 
idea of what death must be to one in full possession of his 
faculties, without the preceding weakness of nature which 
weighs so much on the soul. The beautiful serenity of last 
night at nine o'clock, when I was enjoying the brightest 
moon and clearest sky that can be imagined, was suddenly 
darkened over the whole mountain, which, overhung with 
black, threatening clouds riven by streaks of lightning, 
looked too awful; and I turned to the moon in her gentle 
majesty over our plain with inconceivable delight, thinking 
to my God : The soul that looks only on you goes quietly 
on, and the awful storm can come so far and no farther 
(for then it seemed to be going round to the East). Drop- 
ping asleep with my crucifix under my pillow, and the 
blessed Virgin's picture pressed on the heart, Kit and 
Rebecca fast asleep near me — what a contrast ! to waken 
with the sharpest lightning and loudest peals of thunder, 
succeeding each other so rapidly that they seemed to stop 
but a few seconds between to give time for a sense of the 
danger. Every part of the house seemed struck in an 
instant, and the roaring of the winds from the mountain 
and the torrents of rain so impetuous, that it seemed they 

1 Of God. • Trial 



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must destroy if the lightning spared. Oh, our God, what 
a moment ! I had no power to rise or remember I was a 
sinner, or give a thought to the horrors of death or the 
safety of the children. God, my Father, in that moment 
so pressing, and the plunge (as I thought) into eternity 
the next. Oh, Mary ! how tightly I held my little picture 
as a mark of confidence in her prayers, who must be ten- 
derly interested for souls so dearly purchased by her Son; 
and the crucifix, held up for a silent prayer, which offers 
all His sufferings and merits as our only hope. The storm 
abating, I recovered my self-possession, and really felt (I 
suppose) like one who is drawn back from the door of 
eternity ; then going gently to the choir window and look- 
ing out to see what had becQme of my peaceable little 
queen, I saw her wrapped in clouds lit up as they passed 
over her with so much brightness that, at first sight, they 
appeared like balls of light hastening towards us, while 
she was taking her quiet course above them to disappear 
behind the mountain. There again I found the soul that 
fastens on God: storms and tempests rage around, but 
can not stop it one instant. How good it would have been 
to have died then, if it had been the right time ! but since 
it was not, here I am, very happy to meet all the counte- 
nances of terror and surprise this morning, and hear the 
repeated exclamation : " Oh, mother 1 what a night" 



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REV. MR. BABAD TO REBECCA. 



J. M. J. L. J. C. 

2Sth Sept, 1814. 

Dear Child, — I thought you were in my debt, not I in 
yours, for I had not received any answer to the letter I 
wrote to you by my dear child Henrietta Bedford, but 
you may rest assured that you are never absent from 
father's mind. I send you the blessing of the altar every 
day, and twice on Sundays, at mass and at vespers, when 
I have the happiness to give the benediction of the bless- 
ed sacrament, and whenever anybody asks my blessing, 
which on account of my children of St. Joseph's, I always 
give in the plural number. 

These days past brought precious and dear remem- 
brances of the year 1809, when I went to receive dear 
Harriet Magdalen 2 into the church. May St. Michael 
whisper to you his favorite motto : Who is like God ? great, 
powerful, just, holy, dreadful, magnificent in promises, and 
faithful, bounteous and merciful, loving, amiable, adora- 
ble, etc. ? Next Monday we will invoke our good guardian 
angels. 8 Ask your mamma what is the standard St. 
Michael bears in the battles of the Lord to rally all those 
who fight under him. Pray incessantly for the peace, 4 
for Congress and the President, for this city, 5 the head of 
the Catholic religion in the United States, and be more 
and more every day the blessed child of the Heavenly 
Father. 

i The original is in English. * Seton. 9 Feast on 2d October. 

4 The United States were at war with Great Britain. * Baltimore. 



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ELIZABETH TO WILLIAM. 1 



2Uh Nov., 1814. 

My own Dearest Child, — Your birthday ! You know 
your mothers heart ; it had a dear communion for you — 
for our eternity, my William. 

Be blessed a thousand, thousand times. Take a few 
little moments in the church to-day in union with your 
mother's heart, to place yourself again and again in the 
hands of God. Do, my dearest one. Josephine sends 
you a little picture, and both their warmest love you may 
depend. 

Love to my Richard, 

Your Own Mother. 

In the month of September this year, a small colony 
of Sisters was sent from St. Joseph's to Philadelphia to 
take charge of an orphan asylum, which had been estab- 
lished there in 1797, to shelter children whose parents 
had died of the yellow fever. 

ELIZABETH TO MRS. SCOTT. 

Dec. 1st, 1814. 

There is one of the dearest souls gone to 

Philadelphia from this house, who has lived in my very 
heart, and been more than an own sister to me ever since 
I have been here. She has nursed Harriet, Cecily, Anna, 

i At the Mountain College. 



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ELIZABETH 8ET0N. 



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Rebecca, through all their sufferings with inconceivable 
tenderness. She has the care of the poor orphans belong- 
ing to our church with our good Sister White, who has the 
little institution in her charge. If ever you have a wish 
to find a piece of myself, it will be in this dear Susan 
Clofsey, who is one of the assistants. If you ever see 
them, love them for me ; for they love me most tenderly, 
as I justly do them. 

FATHER BRUTE TO ELIZABETH. TWO NOTES. 

6 o'clock in the Evening. 

I am just from benediction. My Mother ! ! ! I have 
thought of all, — thoughts unbounded. The Adoremus in 
jdEternum, — the Gloria Patri: Sicut erat, 1, in principio ; 

2, nunc ; 

3, semper. 

Oh, what a life, if only we made a proper use of it ! 
Courage, my soul : " Magnify the Lord " with Mary. Oh, 
simplicity ! simplicity ! Pure abandon, purest intentions, 
fervor in little things, daily watchfulness, till the great 
cry : " Lo ! the Spouse." The cross and the altar — com- 
munion and eternity. 

* 

At 10 read the Epistle. Oh, fullness of suffering and 
devotedness ! How ashamed in reading it ! even in America, 
and so far away from all I love. Alas, ashamed. What 
do I ? All around, what an empire of sin ! But I, how 
comfortable and easy-minded indeed, in the midst of these 



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ruins of souls. A fine little spot ! Yet all over the coun- 
try does not heresy, Catholic ignorance, and sin reigu 

abundantly. What left ? the 1 ? No ! a tender, calm 

abandon. His holy will alone. 

Read that epistle, 0 mother! and be a mother to your 
good foundation, but pray also for the poor useless priest. 2 

Read the gospel word by word : mysteries : adore, 
bless, love. An abyss of delight, a world of instruction. 
Jesus in each word, seen and felt ; but how to make Him 
manifest ! Yet this must have been and ought to be the 
whole of my offering and consecration to Him and His 
Church. Oh, pray, pray ye all. 

note from elizabeth to the junior class at saint 
Joseph's. 

Innocents, 28M Dec. 
This your day, my children. To imitate through life 
these innocent, simple, unconscious babes, the first victims 
for our Jesus. Their mothers' anguish ; even a little mur- 
mur, perhaps, that Mary and Joseph left them to suffer all, 
and brought on them this bloodshed and murder. The 
spiritual view so different ! The little bodies cut down — 
the little souls joyfully flying up. Happy, blessed troop 
entering limbo, so welcome to the holy fathers, and expect- 
ing souls to whom they give the news that He who was to 
come, is come, and oh ! that their lives had been given 
for His. 

1 One word illegible. 

1 Mr. Brute was noted for his exceeding great humility. He was probably the 
most useful priest whom the French clergy — that noblest body of men in the world — 
have ever sent to the United States. 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



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My children, mind, the soldiers of Herod, for you are 
the ministers of the Prince of darkness — worse far than 
they who could only touch the body, the soldiers of Satan 
kill and destroy your little souls. As a last thought: 
yourselves kill not each others' soul by scandal. Say of 
her who gives the bad example : There ! a soldier of 
Herod. 



1815. — Letters of Elizabeth. — Of Mr. Brute. — Of Wil- 
liam. — Of Rebecca. 

rebecca to mary-stanislaus. 

January, 1815. 

Dearest Stanislaus, — The day on which we are to 
renew our consecration draws nigh — the purification of 
our blessed Mother. I renewed mine on All Saints' day, 
also, with my whole heart. Here is another begun ; let 
us try and make amends for all the faults we have com- 
mitted the week before. I will try my very best, and 
with our dearest Lord's grace I hope to fulfill my good 
resolutions. Let us try to do our dearest's will in every 
thing, then how happy will we be ! Pray for me who 
prayed so hard for you this morning. 

Good-bye. I must go into the chapel, for I think it is 
time. 

Mr. Brut6 went to Europe in the spring of this year, 
and as Mrs. Seton wished to send her eldest son to Leg- 
horn, that he might acquire a knowledge of business in 



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186 MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 

the counting-house of the Messrs. Filicchi, who had 
offered 1 to receive him as their own child, he volunteered 
to take him in his company as far as they could go 
together. 

Writing at this time of William's departure with Mr. 
Brut6, she says " she feels as secure as good old Tobias 
felt and, indeed, her reverend friend was worthy of all 
the confidence of a mother's heart. 

ELIZABETH TO WILLIAM. 

March, 1815. 

If you should be received by Mr. Filicchi, it 

would only be to try if you could engage your mind in the 
career pointed out to you, and you would, I am sure, con- 
duct yourself as you have always done, with attention and 
good will to every one. However, as I think that in such 
houses, order and exactness are of the greatest necessity, 
I point them out to you as of the first importance. Your 
kindly and attentive behavior, also, to that family most 
kind and friendly to us, I need not recommend. 

My own William, let nothing be hurried. Be assured 
that you have the tenderest friends. Be as polite as pos- 
sible to our ever kind, excellent Madame Chatard. 2 Never 
will you meet with truer friends than in her and the one 
I first committed you to ; and although you will probably 
soon be separated from him, ever preserve for him the 

1 Some years before. 

• She had invited William, with the kind-hearted delicacy of French politeness, 
to stay at her house the days that he and Mr. Brute* stopped in Baltimore on their 
way to Europe. 



ELIZABETH SET0N. 



187 



heart of gratitude for the unbounded goodness of his in- 
tentions towards you, and show it on every occasion in 
your power. 

They sailed from New York in the Tontine, on the 
6th of April, bound for Bordeaux. 

As the Rev. Mr. Brut6 intended, if his time would 
allow, to visit Italy before returning to the United States, 
Elizabeth gave him a letter of introduction to one of her 
old friends at Leghorn. 

TO ANTHONY FILICCHI. 
* 

My Dear Sir, — This letter will introduce to you the 
Rev. Mr. Brute, a most distinguished soul, as you will 
know in a moment if you have ever the happiness of a 
personal acquaintance. 

There is no possible recommendation I could give him 
which would not be ratified by our Most Rev. Archbishop 
and the blessed Cheverus, by whom he is most highly 
beloved and esteemed. Our archbishop, indeed, values 
him as an inestimable treasure in the church, and you will 
find, if you have the happiness to know him yourself, that 
his uncommon piety, learning, and excellent qualifications 
(and even his family, since you Europeans take that into 
account), entitle him to the distinguished friendship and 
regard of Mr. Philip and of yourself. He has adopted the 
great 1 interest of my William so generously that, with 

1 £ &, The spiritual one. 



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yourselves, I consider him our truest friend in God. What 
more can I say to interest you ? Judge for yourself. 

REV. MR. BRUTE TO THE MESSRS. FILICCHI. 1 

Bordeaux, 2ith May, 1815. 
Gentlemen, — Having been asked by your estimable 
friend, Mrs. Seton, Superioress of the Sisters of Charity 
in St. Joseph's Valley, near Emmitsburg, in the State of 
Maryland, to bring her eldest son, William, with me to 
France, and thence to put him on his way to you at Leg- 
horn, I have yesterday seen him off for Marseilles with a 
passport and letters from the American consul here to the 
one there. My first intention was to accompany him 
some distance myself, but unforeseen changes which will 
hasten my return to the establishment in Baltimore, have 
obliged me to see good William on his way to you as soon 
as possible. You will find him simplicity and innocence 
itself, inexperienced, timid, a little too reserved, but full 
of good sense and intelligence, and at heart a person of 
the most delicate feelings, although hidden under such a 
cold exterior. I love him very dearly, and hope that he 
will be happy where he is going, and will give you all the 
satisfaction which your kindness to his excellent mother 
calls for. This incomparable woman, whose views are of 
the most elevated order, sends you letters by her son ; I 
only add the expression of my regret at not being able 
myself to go with him to Leghorn. Mrs. Seton's two 
little girls, Josephine and Rebecca, live with her ; they 
are so good, so amiable, like two angels of paradise ; and, 

1 Original is in French. 



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ELIZABETH 8 ETON. 



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indeed, the holy house they dwell in is paradise on earth. 
How a visit from you would be welcome ! How pleased 
I should be to learn that one of you intended to visit our 
Continent again. 

I expect to remain in France until the end of July, 
and hope to have a letter from you to present to Mrs. 
Seton, and will deliver any answer you may have relating 
to the things mentioned in the letters William bears. 
Please address me under cover to MM. Caduc & C Ie ., rue 
des FossSs de VIntendance, N. 6, a Bordeaux. Good-bye, 
gentlemen, a Dieu et an ciel, is the well wish of your most 
obedient humble servant, 

S. Brute, 

Priest of the Seminary of Baltimore in the United States. 

William Seton, after considerable difficulty in getting 
through the lines of the armies in the South of France, 
arrived at Leghorn in the month of July, and was very 
cordially received by the Filicchis. 

ELIZABETH TO WILLIAM. 

Trinity Sunday, 21st May, 1815. 

My Own William, — Your two dear letters from New 
York came safe, and your last word opposite the Battery. 
Oh, my William, tears will overpower and my soul cries 
for our eternity. My dear, dear one, if the world should 
draw you from our God and me ! not meet there ! That 
thought I can not bear. I will hope, I do hope. My 
God, -who knows a mother's love, sees and will pity. 

I can write you but few lines at a time, the heart 



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is so full, but you will write to us as often as possible ; 
you will never think it a task to write to beings so dear 
as your Bee, Josephine, and mother. For us it will be 
always like a renovation of life, for it is almost unaccount- 
able how tenderly we love you. 

This was written before the last news. You can easily 
suppose what our anxiety will be till we hear from you; 
but you know my old and confident rule, that those who 
most want the protection of Heaven are surest of obtain- 
ing it. My very soul cleaves to you day and night and 
night and day ; the one look of my heart to our God for 
you, is unceasing except in sleep, and often even then. 
My full confidence that whatever changing events you 
may pass through, you will act as a man and a Christian, 
and will keep in view our true home and eternal reunion 
is my sweetest consolation ; and that confidence is even 
extraordinary since you are so young, and may have so 
many trials to pass through. Dearest, dear, dear William, 
we are all taking care of one another, that we may live to 
see you again. While I calculate what o'clock it is in 
France, where we must hope you are arrived, Rebecca 
says : " One more day gone of Willy's absence." Many 
think the Tontine will return if you should meet the last 
accounts half way ; for me, I can but look up and dare not 
even wtsk, knowing so little what is best : all to God alone 
in His dear providence. But do take every care of your- 
self, soul and body, and write, write ; but I know your 
blessed mentor will take care of that as far as depends on 
him ; and for your heart, I am sure it will not be wanting. 
I have the globe our blessed Brut6 made for the Mountain 
standing in my room, and even at night, by the light of the 
lamp, often look at France as the spot on earth containing 



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my dearest treasure. Oh, how often I kneel in spirit by 
your bedside. You understand, my own dear one. I 
would be as faithful to you as your good angel if I could. 
Richard is as you left him. He makes the Wednesday 
visit, sometimes in a lonely mood, since you are gone, and 
really does not seem as if he would ever get accustomed 
to the separation. I could not have guessed how great 
was his attachment to you if you had not been parted. 

Guard well, my dear one, that pure heart which will 
be the charm of our reunion. Oh, if our God should be 

forgotten in that heart and it should become ! No, 

no, no ; never, never ; let me die and be gone before that 
insupportable sorrow comes. I pray for you incessantly. 

My dear one, I must repeat to you the earnest recom- 
mendation to show a most grateful heart to your blessed 
guide and friend. Do, do write, and love and pray for 
your own Mother. 

With this letter went the following most sisterly lines 
from Rebecca. 

My Own Dear, Dearest Brother, — Our separation was 
truly painful, but yet we have a continual comfort in our 
hearts that you have not gone to the Navy. We were 
very lonesome after mass that morning with Dick only* 
I expect and know that dear Mr. Brut6 is very kind to 
you. Oh, my William ! if you knew the wishes and pray- 
ers you receive from us, and dear Mr. Brutti also, both for 
your happiness and safety. Do not forget to pray on 
your way for your Kit, your Bee, your Dick, your own 
dearest doating mother. Sure, my Willy, if you do not 
go to heaven, it will not be for want of her prayers. I 



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hope you will go to communion frequently, at least as 
often as you can. I expect it will be very convenient on 
board of ship, as perhaps Mr. Brut6 will say mass, and 
you can go whenever you wish to. I believe all mother's 
wish and anxiety is for us all to meet in heaven ; indeed, 
on this earth again, but more especially in the next world, 
as we can never feel the pain of separation there. That 
is all we wish to live for now to see you again. 

When you went away that Sunday, I felt so heavy 
about you ; but I could picture you to myself riding in 
the sleigh quite merrily and happy — that would cheer me 
up directly; but I know you suppress your feelings, as 
you are among others and can not express the feelings of 
your heart as we can ours. The letters have to go. My 
own dear William, I must stop. Our remembrance to our 
reverend dear Mr. Brut6, and beg his blessing for us. 
I am still your ever dear little sister, 

Beo. 

mr. preudhomme de borre to mr. brute. 1 

Marseilles, June 16tfA, 1815, Rue Pastoret, No. 10. 
Dear Sir and Respected Friend, — Your pupU, Mr. 
William Seton, having given you an account of our jour- 
ney since our arrival here, I have postponed to write until 
his departure from here, which has taken place yesterday 
morning ; not by sea as you expected, but by land. We 
had almost assured his passage on a zhebeck, under the 
Sardinian flag, when we were told at our consul's that it 
was not safe, the sea being infested at present by Alge- 

1 Tho original is in English— not the writer's native language. 



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rines, who are in perpetual war with the Sardinians ; 
whereupon it was concluded that he should go by land to 
Nice, thence to Genoa, thence to Leghorn. He goes with 
the mail for expedition and safety ; he has been procured 
good letters of recommendation for Nice and Genoa, and 
provided with all the necessary advice for a young man 
who travels for the first time alone. I hope he will arrive 
safe at the place of his destination. As long as he has 
been with us he has behaved exceedingly well, and as a 
good pattern for my own sons ; we considered him as one 
of them ; he has been received and treated as such in my 
sister's house. In the necessary steps to be taken for his 
departure I have found great assistance in a gentleman 
who has resided many years in New York, and who was 
well acquainted with Mr. Seton's father. His name is 
Parangue, and you may mention to Mrs. Seton that he 
has given himself as much trouble as if he had been his 
ow r n son. We have regulated with Mr. Seton the account 
of his journey, it amounted to 210 francs and 18 sols, and 
he has paid me the balance of 48 francs and 18 sols, which 
with the 162 francs I received from you at Bordeaux, make 
the said amount. Having now discharged my trust as 
well as I could, and I hope as you expected from me, per- 
mit me to add a few words concerning my family, for 
which you have shown so kind an interest. We enjoy 
here as much tranquillity and satisfaction as circumstances 
admit of. My good and tender sister considers my chil- 
dren as hers, and we form but one family. Mrs. Preud- 
homme's health is as it has been for many years, very 
unsteady. She finds herself very much at a loss, finding 
almost nobody who understands her language : there is 
but one ecclesiastic here that speaks English. Oh, that 

vol. n. — 13 



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your zeal, instead of the New World, would direct your 
steps towards this city ! Besides our satisfaction, it would 
find sufficient employment. We did find neither Mr. 
McCarty nor Mr. Miguel at Toulouse, and the other gen- 
tleman, who received us very kindly, had no acquaintance 
in Marseilles where we expect to remain at least a certain 
time, unless the European troubles should drive us back 
to peaceful America. My health is much improved, and 
my children have resumed their studies, and I am well 
pleased with both; the bad impressions, if any, received 
while at sea, have totally disappeared in Francis. Please 
to present our best compliments to Messrs. La Tavi&re and 
De Lor; tell also to the latter that I regret much not to 
have had more time to cultivate his acquaintance, and 
that if I was not afraid of appearing an intruder, I would 
open a correspondence with him. As he is now applying 
himself to the Greek language, perhaps I could communi- 
cate to him some ideas which would facilitate his study of 
it. Please, also, my respectable friend, to accept the 
expression of my grateful sentiments, as well as those of 
my whole family. Your friend and servant, 

L. Preudhomme de Borre. 
I hope you will gratify us with an answer. 

MR. BRUTE TO WILLIAM. 1 
* 

Rennes, 2 Sunday, July 17th, 1815. 
Dear Friend, — Bonaparte's return made me look to 
myself, and I was even afraid that I would be arrested at 

1 Original is in French. 

1 His native town. He was born there on the 20th of March, 1779. 



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Bordeaux as a priest ; but, thank God, the white flag has 
been raised again, and we breathe freely. You will share 
with us this joy, and my only regret is not to be able to 
write to your mother that you were with me on such an 
occasion; but we were forced to separate, and I am now 
very glad that we did, for I have lived amidst alarms 
ever since we were together in Bordeaux. I even felt 
some apprehension for your safety, my good friend, until 
I learned by your letter that you were out of Marseilles ; 
although I would not have felt perfectly easy until I had 
heard of your arrival at Leghorn, because you told me 
that you would go by sea, and that route is not without 
danger. But Mr. Preudhomme writes me that you went 
by land, and I feel more hopeful that your journey was 
without accident. Give me the details of it, and do not 
refer me to those which you will not fail to write to your 
good mother. I shall give her all the news concerning 
you that I may know, for we can not let her hear too 
much about you. Write to her every opportunity. 

Dear William, far away from your mother, thrown 
back upon yourself, this is the time to show that you are all 
that such good principles as you have been brought up in 
require of you, all that your previous conduct warrants us 
in expecting. Good friend, how willingly I would once 
more go over our many conversations touching this point, 
but I almost fear to have spoken too often on the same 
subject, and, perhaps, to have tired you a little. Ah, 
dear William, you know that your mother lives only that 
she may know you to be good and virtuous. That is 
enough, you will not disappoint her. 

I have written to Mr. Preudhomme, thanking him for 
his attentions to you. Give my respects to your friends, 



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and say how pleased I would feel could I for a moment 
be with them to join you in speaking of such a worthy 
friend of theirs as your mother is, a friend for heaven and 
eternity, and whose constant delight is to recall all that 
they have done for her in that direction. 

My good William, remember your poor Brut<5 : he has 
felt very miserable not to have been able to fulfill, towards 
you more satisfactorily, your mother's wishes when she 
intrusted you to his care. Love him as he loves you, 
and let us pray one for the other. 

S. Brute. 

P. S. — Write to me at Paris, at the Seminary of St. 
Sulpice, rue Pot de Fer, No. 17. Let me know what you 
may have learned from the Filicchis concerning Mr. Zoo 
chiV books, and the personal effects of Bishop Concanen. 
Read to them the part of this letter in which I speak of 
them, and although I am a stranger, there will be one 
more heart beating for them with yours and your 
mother's. 

WILLIAM TO MR. BRUTE. 

Leghorn, Aug. 1815. 
My Dear Friend, — I yesterday receiyed from Mr. 
Filicchi your esteemed favor of the 12th inst. I was 
surprised to see it dated Paris, as Mr. Dubourg, 2 who 

1 An Italian priest of Mrs. Setou's acquaintance, who was at one time on the 
mission at Taneytown, in Carroll County, Maryland, and had returned to his native 
country. 

1 He was on his way to Rome, to lay before the Sovereign Pontiff the case of 
the church in Louisiana. On the 24th of September, 1815, he was consecrated Bish- 
op of New Orleans. 



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was here three days ago, told me you were at Rennes. 
At the time I received your letter I was writing my sixth 
or seventh to mamma. I have not yet received a letter, 
although a few days after my arrival a vessel came direct 
from Baltimore. It is a pleasure to write to so kind a 
friend and protector : indeed, I have always so considered 
you; and though during our long acquaintance I may 
have shown a cold disinterestedness, yet my outward de- 
portment never spoke my inward sentiments. Believe me, 
my dear friend, I always loved you in my heart. Had I 
no other motive than the love of my dear mother, who 
certainly ranks you among the first of our dearest friends, 
that alone would be sufficient for me. I must confess you 
have justly accused me of diffidence or indifference, but I 
was never really insensible to the value of your friend- 
ship. I perceive, more sensibly since our separation, the 
many and great obligations I am under to you. I am 
happy to hear that you still intend returning, and I hope 
you will give a good account of me to mamma, though I 
am afraid I don't deserve it ; but I am sure you will par- 
don the faults and indiscretions I have committed while 
under your charge. As to being grateful to MM. Filicchi 
for the great obligations we are under to them, my dear 
mamma need be under no apprehensions. I plainly per- 
ceive how much we are indebted to them, and I shall 
make it my study to show that I am grateful. I arrived 
here without any accident, although I was pretty often 
cheated on the road; indeed, I have been uncommonly 
fortunate. On arriving a: Marseilles, Madame de St. 
C6saire, the sister of Mr. Preudhomme, received me into 
her house as her son as she was pleased to call me, and 
we parted with tears. The French marshal permitted me 



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to cross the Var, although the same day he had refused 
other foreigners. From Genoa I traveled in company of 
an English gentleman to Leghorn, where I have been 
received with the utmost kindness by Mr. Filicchi. 

REBECCA TO WILLIAM. 

St. Joseph's, 27th Aug., 1815. 

My own Dearest Brother, — I can not tell you how 
constantly you are in my mind, and how much I pray for 
you; but the thought of the happy day when we will 
meet again comforts all the pain of separation. You can 
not conceive, dearest brother, what joy it gave us to hear 
the news of your safe arrival at Bordeaux. I have felt 
so happy ever since, and returned so many thanks to our 
dear Lord. I never prayed more sincerely for you than 
on St. Vincent's day : I shall love it the more, as you took 
the name in your confirmation. Every evening I stand 
looking towards the East where the beautiful moon comes 
rising up ; I stand and think of the happy home where we 
will meet to part no more. 

Be assured I am and ever will be your most affection- 
ate little sister, 

Rebecca. 

william to mr. brute. 

Leghorn, Sept. 2rf, 1815. 
My Dear, Dear Friend, — I have this moment, with 
pleasure, received a second letter ; the first was dated 
Paris, 12th of August, which, as you may recollect, was 
inclosed and written upon the same sheet with that of the 



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Messrs. Filicchi, who now present me yours of the 19th 
August, 

Just now Mr. Filicchi hands me another letter, dated 
the 17th of July, at Rennes. I have long ago rejoiced 
with you at the happy success of your new revolution, 
and congratulate you on the noble and loyal part which 
your own countrymen have borne in it, and hope they 
may be the first to reap the benefits of it. 

It is now two months, less ten days, that I have been 
with the Messrs. Filicchi, enjoying, under their friendly 
roof, all the kindness and attention that it would be possi- 
ble for me to receive from the nearest relation ; indeed, 
he 1 acts as a father to me, supplying all my wants and 
making my situation with him as agreeable as possible. 
My heart, when I approached the house of our friend, beat 
very much, but a few moments' conversation quickly ban- 
ished all uneasy feelings, the natural consequence of my 
peculiar situation. You must know, my dear friend, that 
in the first moments of my arrival here, the communica- 
tion with France was interrupted, which put it out of my 
power to write either you or our good friend, Mr. Preud- 
homme. This difficulty continued near a month. Imme- 
diately after its removal I wrote to Mr. Preudhomme, but 
(as I told you in my letter of the 29th) have not yet heard 
from him. I could not write you as I had not your ad- 
dress, except for Paris, where I had every reason to think 
you would not go on account of the reigning disturbances ; 
however, I shall now often have the pleasure of writing 
you, and hope as often to hear from you. I have nearly 
every week an opportunity for America, and never fail to 

1 Anthony P. 



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avail myself of it. Next week there is a vessel for Bal- 
timore. I shall present your remembrance to all, and 
remain your affectionate friend, 

Wm. Seton. 

mr. brute to william. 1 



J. M. J. 

Bordeaux, on board ths Blooming Hose, 
17th October, 1815. 
My Dear William, — I am once more on shipboard. 
Your heart bounds at the thought that I shall soon see 
your dear mother and tell her all about our voyage to- 
gether. Oh, certainly, speak of it I shall. But pray to 
God that I arrive in America, for unless you do I may go 
down in the waters, and then you know all our fine talk 
is gone ; but pray much more fervently that we may pre- 
pare a grand future for our holy religion in your native 
country. Oh, my good friend, the thoughts ! The designs 
of God: how unfathomable! But yet I feel extreme 
pleasure in doing what little I can. 1 have three compan- 
ions with me, all of them filled with the best intentions. 
Monseigneur Dubourg will surely return with a larger 
number. Once more, my dear friend, let me ask you to 
pray that I may see your mother and speak to her of you, 
and give her your letters and those the Filicchis have been 
so kind as to intrust to me. Now, my William, the en- 
treaties that you strive for your eternal salvation. Take 
this as coming from your mothers heart rather than from 

1 Original in French. 



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mine. Hearken to her cry from far-off America, from her 
holy valley ; hearken to the voice from Annina's grave : 
"Be good' 9 Oh, remember me always, as I shall ever 
you. Love God, serve Him, be a true and fervent Chris- 
tian. The rest, all the rest, is nothing, yes, nothing ; ab- 
solutely nothing without religion. Good-bye, William, to 
Jesus and Mary I commend you. Ponder eternity. 

Your faithful friend, 

S. Brute. 

Mr. Brut6 reached the United States safely in the 
month of November, and " was appointed President of , 
St. Mary's College, at Baltimore, where he remained until 
1818, when, on the death of Mr. Duhamel, he again 
returned to Emmitsburg and resumed his labors at the 
college and among the Catholics in the vicinity." 1 

In October Rebecca was sent to Philadelphia, to be 
under the treatment of an eminent surgeon there. Her 
mother's good friend, Mrs. Scott, asked to have the child 
in her own house, where she would assuredly have 
treated her to all the comforts and delicacies that wealth 
and a noble affectionate heart could provide, but Re- 
becca earnestly begged to go to Sister Rose and the 
other Sisters at the Orphan Asylum, an J live among 
those who reminded her of St. Joseph's. 

i Memoir of the Right Rev. a W. BrufcS, eta, p. 45. 



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REBECCA TO HER MOTHER. 

Orphan Asylum. 
As I soon expect to hear of an opportunity, I must 
write to my own mother to tell her with what joy I think 
of the day I shall once more be in her arms. I am some- 
times almost lost in thought, and am as overjoyed as if I 
were actually with you ; but I hope to see my thoughts 
soon come true. Oh, my mother, what a day that will be : 
my heart gets too full when I think of it. I must tell you, 

to comfort you, how much better I am than I was 

I have been to " Aunt " Scott's twice ; she took me riding 
in her carriage — I do not know how far — to the Museum, 
the Bank of Pennsylvania, Bank of the United States, the 
Water-works, and I do not know where else ; but what 
was better than all, Sister Rose took me to the poor-house. 
You must know what a coward I am, as you have experi- 
enced me. I do not dare to think of my own sufferings 
after having seen theirs ; though Sister Rose tells me I 
have seen but the least part of them. There is one poor 
woman up in the incurable ward named Peggy (ask Sister 
Susan, she will tell you whom I mean) ; she told Sister 
Rose : " Sister Rosy, I forgot to tell Mr. Roloff the main 
thing yesterday." Well, what was it? " That I had no 
tobacco " (speaking softly). However, I had happily just 
spent nineteen cents in getting tobacco and snuff to carry 
with me. But I wanted very much to get out of the 
place, for as we were going up-stairs we met a person who 
behaved very cross to us, which made me very much 
afraid for fear we should meet with another one. When 
we got out, believe me, my own mother, I really felt as if 



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ELIZABETH 8ET0N. 



£03 



I were in Paradise. There was another poor creature 
there who had* three holes burnt with caustic in her side. 
She said that during the time it was burning her, she 
could think of nothing but the wounds of our Jesus, and 
actually did not feel the pain of it. I also saw old Queen 
Agnes, just woke out of a sleep, and quite loaded with old 
watch-seals, and beads, and chains, and I do not know 
what all. Sister Rose told her there was a great many 
people died nowadays. In great surprise she said, open- 
ing her eyes wide, " Has any died to-day ? " No. Then 
Sister Rose says, "Agnes, are you afraid of death?" 
" No." But would you like to die ? " No, that I wouldn't : 
I think it a terrible thing that a body must be put in a 
pit. I am afraid they would put me in alive." Oh, but 
Agnes, you know that does not hurt the soul. " I don't 
know." Then Sister Rose said, " Agnes, this little girl's 
mother knew you when you used to be in the hospital at 
New York. " Who is she ? I don't remember her." Mrs. 
Seton. Then inquiring earnestly, " Is she dead ? " No. 
Then looking at me full in the face — " She is a pretty girl." 
Sister Rose says, " She is going to be good." " She looks 
as if she would be." I thought to myself, you have a fine 
taste ! They all appeared glad to see me. I believe I 
have told you all my things here but one. Agnes missing 
Sister Susan, asked Sister Fanny, " where was the pretty 
sister (meaning Sister Susan), not the religious one (mean- 
ing Sister Rose), is she gone home to get married ?" Oh, 
no, Agnes, says Sister Fanny, we don't marry. " I don't 

like that at all," she answered Oh, my mother, 

how I long to be with you ; but yet a little while. I 
think it is time to bid you farewell. Ever your own 
child. Bec. 



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204 MEMOIR AND LETTEB8 OF 



ELIZABETH TO MRS. SCOTT. 

10th Nov., 1815. 
My Dear Julia, — Rebecca can not say enough about 
your kind attention. Little wild darling ; it would take 
me a month to hear half her perpetual conversation. 
Imagine our meeting after " all dangers past," as she says, 
for the overset of the stage between New Castle and 
Frenchtown had given such a shock to her nerves that she 
thought every thing dangerous afterwards. Her fatigue 
from the journey makes it impossible to judge of the effect 
of what has been done for her by Dr. Physick, 1 but I have 
at least the consolation of knowing he has done all that 
could be done. Sister Rose has sent me many bills you 
have paid on Rebeccas account, amounting to at least 
sixty dollars. How happy you are to be able to do so 
charitable an act, and how happy we are that it is from 
you we receive it. It is all counted, Julia, where good 
interest is given, and where the fatherless are such good 
advocates. I believe you must have the greatest consola- 
tion in thinking of your invariable kindness and charity to 
us. I have again most pleasing news from William. Re- 
becca says she told you all that the first letters contained. 
He can not say enough of the continual kindness he has 
received from every one since he left us ; and so many 
who knew his father and doubled their attention for his 
sake. Dear child, his expressions of affection to me and 
desire to fulfill all my wishes are almost extravagant. He 

1 Philip Syng Physick was a celebrated surgeon of Philadelphia. He bad been a 
private pupil of John Hunter, in London. 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



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says he would gladly exchange all he sees and enjoys for 
one walk with Kit and Rebecca in our valley. 

Tell me, when you write, how you are and what you 
are doing. Now, Julia, be good, and do not think too 
hardly of your poor friend, — leave all to our God. 

TO MRS. DUPLEX. 

December, 1815. 

My Own Dear Friend, — Some one going direct to New 
York gives me just time to say we are all well, your 
sweet Rebecca excepted. Poor darling, her fast rolling 
tears, at times, are the whole expression of her pain. 
Blessed child ! she would hide them if she could, to keep 
me from suffering. Our God loves us ; that is our com- 
fort. We have every true consolation, and must leave all 
to Him. Sister Susan, again by, is an unspeakable delight 
to her, and eases me of half the care. Our letters from 
William are a pleasure it is useless to attempt to describe. 
Every thing my fondest heart could wish for his earthly 
prospects in the tender care and kindness he receives, and 
Mr. Filicchi's desire to advance him and Richard. Rich- 
ard is all health and life, pushing on with his good and 
happy heart to gain as completely as he can the qualifica- 
tions William points out to him as necessary. Yet such a 
lingering heart about home} Never mind, all will go right, 
since we look to God alone. 

If that good Mr. McCartey would but send you word, 
he so often knows of opportunities, and we could hear 
from you. Not a line from any one in New York since he 

1 He called St Joseph's his home. This for him was wherever his mother and 
sisters lived. 



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left his daughter here, except once a letter from Sister 
Post by Mr. Brute, who, however, told me all his kind 
heart could say about you and dear Eliza Sadler. We 
often hear from him, poor friend ; but he suffers under his 
President's duties. How much he said of your George's 
kindness to him ! Do write me a word about him, and if 
you have heard of your dear family. 

Added to this letter are a few lines from her daughter, 
which evidence the grateful heart she had (as all Eliza- 
beth's children) been taught to nourish. 

Dear mother writes you I am suffering. I am, but I 
must still tell you how much I love you, and ever will. 
If Captain Duplex is with you, do remember me to him, 
though I almost forget his looks, it has been so long, yet 
I do not forget his kindness. I wish you would pay us 
another little visit. 

Tour own Rebecca. 



1816. — Letters from Elizabeth, Mr. Brut^, Rebecca, 
William, Father Babad, Mr. Dubois. — Notes and 
Journal op Rebecca's last Illness and Death. — Visit 
of Bishop Cheverus to St. Joseph's. 

william to rebecca. 

Leghorn, January r , 1816. 
My Dear Sister, — I am almost afraid you will scold 
me in your next letter for not writing oftener, but you 



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must never measure my love by my letters, it would be 
doing me an injustice. I have just been out to the door 
to see some Algerine slaves, for the Tuscans enslave them 
when they capture them. They were drawing a cart 
while two fellows were throwing the sweepings of the 
street into it. They w T ere dressed in a green jacket and 
trousers, heads close shaven, and a green cap on. An 
iron chain they carried was locked by one end at the 
ankle, and the other drawn round the body to keep it from 
the ground. They seemed to bear their hard lot easily 
enough ; one w r as laughing and singing while the boys 
were plaguing them. The merry one came to me when 
the cart stopped and asked a charity, but one of the clerks 
told me not to give him any thing, as the people would not 
like it. You can't imagine what fierce looks some of them 
have ; they are almost black, with long curved noses, big 
mustaches, and dark eyes. I could not but pity them; 
though, at the same time, I thought their sentence quite 
just; indeed, they do not suffer half the misery of a 
Christian slave among them. My dear Bee, you must 
think your brother odd to write so much of slaves, but I 
looked on them, thinking their situation might have been 
mine in some town of Barbary, if they had fallen in with 
us at sen, but no doubt your prayers preserved me. Con- 
tinue to pray for me, dear Bee ; terra firma is not without 
its dangers. I am afraid I can not this time send your 
music ; the ship will sail to-morrow. 1 love you with my 
whole heart. 



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REBECCA TO WILLIAM. 

St. Josephs, February 4th, 1816. 

I am quite sorry to think, my dearest brother, that I 
shall not be able to tell you as much as Kit has, 1 but my 
heart is still the same, though I can not write as much as 
I would wish. We have received no letters from you 
since October or November, but we could not have ex- 
pected them, since there are so few arrivals in winter. I 
have been more confined to the room this winter than I 
was last, therefore mother and I spend many hours to- 
gether, and we amuse ourselves very often with thinking 
what Willy may be doing. 

A great many deaths have happened at the Mountain 
since you have been away, and by your mentioning, in 
your letter to Dick, Egan senior, we suppose you have not 
received the letter of mother telling of his death. Yes- 
terday good — (?) Green died, he left his dear little wife 
and sweet babe by a very quiet death. Mr. McElroy (?) 
dropped dead at the foot of the locust-tree by Mr. Du- 
hamel\s, while pulling off his hat to Dick. Poor old black 
Kate has also taken her departure. Our good Sister 
Kitty, 1 too, on Christmas-day, which was a high festival 
and her favorite one. 

Elizabeth here took up her daughter's letter. 

My Own William, — Tour Bee looks so pale and tired 
that I must finish. She is the dearest, sweetest creature, 

1 Who wrote on the first page 

* SiBter Catharine Mullen, the eighth on the death-roll of St Joseph's. 



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and my greatest uneasiness in seeing her so weak and 
suffering, is lest you should not see her again before she 
goes to heaven. Poor darling! Her love for you, and 
desire of meeting you again seems to be the only wish or 
care she has. What a world of separations ! but it must 
not be thought of; we must follow the line, if only to meet 
at last, there the point. 

ELIZABETH TO REV. MR. BRUT^, IN BALTIMORE. 



You would never believe the good your return does to 
this soul. To see you tearing yourself again from all that 
is dearest, giving up again the full liberty you justly and 
lawfully possessed, exchanging it for a heavy chain and 
the endless labyrinth of discussions and wearisome details 
(to use the softest expressions). In proportion as my 
pride in you increases, my own littleness and empty sacri- 
fice to our Beloved is more evident, and I am ambitious 
(indeed, often with many tears) to get up with you a little 
by a generous will and more faithful service in the little I 
can do. I really take it as my most serious affair to pray 
well for you, and to get prayers from all that you may do 
well this hard work before you. Yes, dear President, you 
will; and you shall have plenty of prayers from these 1 
most innocent hearts. Look up confidently ; He will not 
abandon you who have left all for Him, nor leave you in 
weakness while loading yourself for His sake. 

I will tell you in what I know American parents to be 
most difficult — in hearing the faults of their children. In 

1 The Sisters and children of St Joseph's. 
vol. n. — 14 



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most instances, when you see the faults are not to be 
immediately corrected by the parents, but rather by good 
advice and education, it is best not to speak of them to 
papa and mamma, who feel as if you reflected on their 
very self, and while to you it will be, "Yes, sir," " I know, 
I perceive," in the heart they think it is not so much, and 
will soften and excuse to the child what they condemn to 
us, and our efforts afterwards avail very little, so that is a 
great point 

TO MRS. SCOTT. 

March, 1816. 

.... Your fear that I should have any additional 
charge is groundless. I have none. Sister Rose has 
been so long away she does not know home as it is, but I 
assure you that six years' experience of our daily duties 
and way of life, has made many of our good Sisters as 
much old women as I am, though only two of them are as 
old in years. Their care and attention to save me every 
trouble would appear even ridiculous to others, who, not 
living with us, do not know the tie of affection which is 
formed by living in community. Perhaps you have no 
idea of the order and quiet which distinguish a regular 
way of life. Every thing meets its time and place in such 
a manner that a thing once done is understood by the 
simplest person as well as by the most intelligent. 



ELIZABETH SETOtf. 



911 



TO REBECCA. 

Eternity. 

My Rebecca, my own darling, your poor mother does 
pray for you with the cries of a mother's heart. My soul's 
darling, bear all your pains with our Jesus, and commit 
your precious soul all to Him, and you must pray much 
for me that, at last, in our dear eternity we may rest in 
Him forever. Tour mother blesses and prays for you now 
while you sleep so sweetly under the shadow of His wing. 
Oh, be blessed forever ! 

My Own Child of Eternity, — With my little pen I 
answer my dear, every day dearer little darling, how 
much I desire she should go and unite still closer to our 
only Beloved. Go either Thursday or Sunday, as the 
others do, and make your careful preparation of the purest 
heart you can bring Him, that it may appear like a bright 
little star at the bottom of a fountain. Oh, my Rebecca ! 
let peace and love stay with you in your pains, and they 
will lighten and sweeten them all. Oh, the love of your 
Mother in heaven ! Oh, the delight of your good angel 
presenting every moment of suffering to your crucified 
Saviour, who counts your sufferings with His ! My soul's 
darling, moments and hours pass so swiftly to our glorious, 
happy eternity. Trust all, indeed, to Him, my dear one ; 
put all in His hands, and we will see, by and by, when we 
get home to our Jerusalem, how good and tender He has 

1 She was staying some time at the college with the Sisters who had charge of 
the infirmary. 



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been in giving you the thorny crown. Sufferings are the 
ties, the bands which fasten and unite us to our Dearest. 
Child of Calvary ! child of the Cross ! Of the past, nothing 
should remain but sorrow for sin ; of the future, nothing 
anticipated but the hope of heaven ; of the present, one 
sole and only aim to fulfill in every moment His adorable 
will. 

My Own Rebecca, — Still only your mother's poor bless-' 
ing. The disappointment is very great at St. Joseph's, 
but you know the only will of our dear Lord is so good. 
We will not be separated long. I will even go to you 
this afternoon if it should clear. Mr. Deidier 1 waits. 
Love and blessing to our dear Susan. Tell her she was 
my first thought at communion this morning, even before 
you. Love to good Miss Polly. Be good ! 



Well, my darling, again we are disappointed; but I 
hope to see you at least on Easter Sunday. I hope. Kiss 
my own Richard for his and your mother. Kit and I took 
our one hour in the garden with the girls and Sisters, who 
sat up from nine to ten. How often my eyes turned from 
my corner to Mr. DuhameFs, with a little prayer for my 
dear one ! This is the anniversary of our separation from 
Willy. So goes the world. The girls enjoyed the Italian 
pictures and the Ecce Homo. Sister Cecilia fixed on a 
little altar in the choir for them ; they were so good ; and 
your little H. like an angel. Be good, too, my darling ; 



1 This reverend gentleman was one of three priests whom Bishop Flaget had 
recruited in Auvergne for missionary service, when he visited France in 1810. 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



fcl3 



kind to all who are so kind to you. Love Sister Susan for 
me, and be attentive to all. Tour own 

Mother. 

rebecca to william. 

St. Joseph's, April 5th, 1816. 
My Dearest Brother, — We received last night your 
most dear letter of January, and could have cried together 
to think that you have not received our letters. But be 
assured, dearest Willy, we will write you every opportu- 
nity we can hear of. Last Sunday one year was the 
memorable day we parted with you, two o'clock it was as 
the bell rung for silence — silence it was with us. Mother 
can not speak of it to this day without starting tears which 
mine answer. The spring is so far advanced that we 
already hear the turtle-dove cooing, which sits on the tree 
over Annina's grave. We think, perhaps, it may be the 
one we bought from Jim, and mother let go off her hand. 

Her mother here continued the letter : — 

My Own William, — I find this little word on the table. 
This morning I found myself praying for your confessor, 
so anxious that he should lead you well. I beg so hard 
you may be an " honest man,' 1 as you say, for you know 
an honest man gives to God his due, as well as to man. 
How you will be shocked to see Mr. Jefferson 1 turned to a 
John Gilpin in the papers! You must allow, it is some- 
thing revolting to see a chief magistrate treated so. I do 

1 He was ex-President 



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not understand politics or characters, but have a horror 
to find that our government can countenance such a free- 
dom of the press. You, my son, reflect and be moderate. 
Take always the side of order, it is God's first law, says 
our true poet. Bless, bless you from the full heart of 
your own 

Mother. 

rebecca to william. 

St. Joseph's, April 8M, 1816. 
My Own Darling Brother, — We received two more 
letters from you again to-day, and are too sorry that you 
do not get ours. I think it impossible but you will some 
time or other receive them. I am going to Mr. Duhamel's 
as usual, but I would be twice as happy were you there. I 
have Dick, and that is a great deal. I anticipate much 
pleasure ; Miss Polly so kind, — Sister Susan so kind. 
You would have laughed just now had you seen old Clem 
receive his new Easter coat. " A-ha ! " he said, " my good 
Mother Seton ! " So much pleased. I hope you will not 
fail to give us a little description of these times in Italy. 
Mamma tells us they are so beautiful. I would so much 
wish to join in your pleasures, which must be very great, 
never having been there before; but that great ocean 
between us, and Mediterranean Sea, put me out of all 
such thoughts, but I trust, my darling brother, we will 
meet in another land where there will be no seas and 
oceans to separate us. I think I am daily getting better, 
both as to my limb and health. I hope and trust, if it 
please God, I may live to embrace you once more. That 
is my earnest desire, it revives me to think of it It 



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seems almost like a dream to think I have a dear brother, 
and one who loves me so dearly, so far away. Farewell, 
my dear, dear Willy. I scarcely know where to stop. 
Ever your most loving and tenderly attached sister, 

Bec. 

P. S. — I pray for you and our best friends, the Filicchi 
family, every day in mass, and also when I go to com- 
munion. Pray, if it be our dear Lord's will, I may live to 
see you once more. 

TO FATHER BABAD. 1 

June, 1816. 

My Blessed Father, — My good angel has inspired me 
to continue to answer your precious letter. Oh, what a 
pleasure it is to obey you, ever dear and holy father ; and 
oh ! my blessed mother. I have begun to watch every 
action of hers, that I may imitate her. I spoke to her 
last night about correcting my defects, faults, and what- 
ever she saw in me displeasing to our dear Lord or to her. 
And you, my dear father, tell me twice or thrice a week 
what displeases you, or what is displeasing to any one. 
Oh, my dear father, never have I passed such a week as 
this has been — it seems but a few moments. One day 
passed, another came, all alike in heavenly thoughts, all 
alike in that sweet repose which you know better than 
words can express. In the sacrifice of the mass my soul 
seemed to join yours and that of my sweet mother's, and 
adore our divine and heavenly Father. You know how 
the soul can be at such a time better than can be written. 

1 The first page of the letter is lost 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 



Let us join and invite heaven and earth to praise God for 
His adorable goodness, and make up in some measure for 
so many thousands who know not His adorable name. On 
Wednesday evening, after I received my poor, dear mam- 
ma's letter, I went to the chapel to our dear Lord to pour 
my soul out before the altar, and meditate on the suffer- 
ings of our divine Saviour. My soul seemed to follow our 
meek and humble Saviour every step. But yesterday 
morning I offered up my communion for the meditation of 
our dear and Adorable Saviour's passion, and to be united 
to His sacred heart. After mass my soul seemed to enter 
the room of the Last Supper, and then follow our Blessed 
Saviour every step of passion, and then to the sepulcher ; 
and after, it seemed to see the Blessed Virgin without her 
Adorable Son. It seems as if the passion of our Divine 
Saviour was present to me every moment of the day. My 
dear father, I intended to have written you a very long 
letter, but time will not permit. J. M. J. Amen. 

MR. BRUTi TO REBECCA. 1 

Rebecca, my Sister, — I thank you for your dear little 
note. I have pasted it on the last page of my Bible, the 
one that your mother gave me. I am just from the altar. 
Today is the anniversary 2 of my first mass at the altar 
of the Blessed Virgin in the Seminary of Saint Sulpice, 
in my poor France. But I would not edify you in saying 
that I still have a country upon this earth, did I not beg 
you to remember that our Lord himself has given us the 
example of attachment to our native land : He who so 

1 The original is in French. 

1 He said his first mass on Trinity Sunday, which, in 181 6> fell on June 9th. 



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much loved his dear Jerusalem. 1 Pray, then, for France — 
for France at every time so dear to the Church. 

At the communion I took you in my heart and offered 
you to our Lord as completely as I could. I hope that 
your desire is to detract nothing from this offering, but to 
be entirely His with so much love, with such fidelity, that 
a little lamb could not show the like. Oh, suffer then in 
peace, for it is all on account of the infinite love He bears 
you that He makes you suffer. Suffer, my dear Rebecca, 
because it is His will — His who is your Father, your Re- 
deemer, your Sanctifier for an eternity. None of us wish 
to oppose His will ; but all unite their prayers to yours 
that He may support your weakness invincibly to per- 
severe. " Love is stronger than death," heaven much 
more beautiful and greatly more delightsome than earth. 
To God I commend you ; now pray as prays for you your 
poor brother, 

S. BRUTi. 2 

1 Mr. Brute* was a man of intense, but never fanatical patriotism. His devotion 
to country, like the friendship of the Roman of old, was usque ad aram only. He 
was most faithful, also, to the obligations entailed towards the government of the 
land he lived in, and which gave him protection for ** life, liberty, and the pursuit of 
happiness/' I have heard my father relate, in glowing terms, half a century after- 
wards, how Mr. Brute, when many of his flock were leaving Emmitsburg to assist 
in the defense of Baltimore during the war of 1812, made an adlocutio, exhorting 
every man to do his duty. 

* Mr. Brute* was very skillful in making pen-and-ink sketches. I have heard 
my father say that he has seen him dash off the cleverest little things in an exqui- 
sitely careless manner, without lifting hand from paper. This note, and almost all 
Mr. Brute's other writings that 1 possess, have some drawing of the kind at the top 
or bottom, and often at both. They illustrate a mystery of religion, or recall to 
memory an occurrence that consoles or points out the hope of future happiuess. 
Some of these pictures though, are of an entirely miscellaneous character, and more 
carefully worked, as for instance, one on a tolerably large scale, of St. Joseph's Sis- 
terhood, taken October the 7th, 1818, another of La tour de Cordovan, 9th of May, 
1815, a memorial of his visit to France : these speak the diligence of the man who 
" labored with all his art to make the resemblance in the best manner." — Wisdom, 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OP 



PROM THE SAME. 

Bee, no rest last night. Then a standing or sitting 
posture, as the knights of old on the eve they were 
knighted. Ah, well might we take this whole life for the 
meritorious watch of our eternal knighthood. But where 
do I carry your fancy and mine. It is too odd to go any 
further that way. Come, then, my pen, seek for better, 
and since the hand has no rose to cull this morning for the 
beloved sufferer of my Jesus, we'll write her this name 
better to her sight than any rose or lily — Jesus. Then 
write the other she likes too so much, write quick — Mary. 
Write still the blessed Father of the house she lives or 
suffers in — for her life is now but suffering — write little 
pen, write quick and soft, her nursing father — Joseph. 
"Well, now, dear Rebecca, be pleased, and when poor awk- 
ward creatures of this world try to soothe half a minute 
of your pains, look on high and be delighted that it is 
your Father, your God of love and salvation, your beauti- 
ful Beloved himself who bids any of His creatures to speak 
to your soul of His only goodness, only comfort. He, my 
dear Bee, not I, in any of these little black writing spots ; 
He, not the flower you admire — the little food which feeds 
your spark of life — ah, more, He even in what only still 
truly pleases you and . makes you yet so happy in your 
pains and faintings — your mother. He himself mostly 
seen in her smile, her maternal voice, her quickening and 

xiv. 19. The present letter has entete* trefoil amidst rays, with the name of a per- 
son of the Trinity written on each leaf. Around is the word eternity; at the point of 
the stem : " Mary, Joseph, eta, etc. Oh, that we may be in the list I " On the 
back are a little cross and a crutch. 
i Original is in English. 



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animating look. He in all, my Rebecca; and let the 
storm roar around the walls and the grates of this transi- 
tory hard lazaretto of life ; let sufferings, cruel and unre- 
lenting, bid you stand and watch when the smallest bird 
enjoys his rest, let, let, let — the soul still knows how to 
cheer up, seeing and feeling her God, her Father, and Al- 
mighty lover in all. Ah, yes, if I know your faith and 
your love, they will be as unrelenting and pressing on as 
the sufferings can be, and more. One look to your bleed- 
ing Jesus will restore more strength and resolution than 
the most wearisome night would have taken away. He 
loved me and for me was patient upon His cross, so I love 
Him and will be patient too. Blessed be the short pa- 
tience of this douloureuse life : this life is short, and the 
sweet fruit of that patience eternal 

Your Brother. 

elizabeth to mr. brute. 

Trinity Sunday. 

Magnificent day for the soul ! 

Mr. Kerney, the old, buried at Emmitsburg this morn- 
ing, and poor Joseph Elder at the Mount. Oh, I not 
buried yet ! 

Will you please to give or send this to Mr. Cooper if 
he is not gone, and if he is, will you please to open it and 
take out William's and Filicchi's letter and send them to 
P£re Grassy if he is not gone. 

Bless the happiest of women in the Holy Trinity this 
day (always excepting those who love better). Here is 
for your breviary a little St. Gabriel, fallen accidentally 
into the hands of Soeur Marguerite, who begs you to 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 



remember that Monday is St. Margaret's day, and that 
you will bless. I wish you much to have this St. Bernard, 

E. A. S. 

TO WILLIAM. 

22<f July, 1816. 

My Own William, — Although I have written you con- 
tinually, by way of Baltimore and New York, I find you 
so seldom receive our letters. Still, every opportunity 
shall be improved in the hope that at last some may reach 
your dear hand. So I must give it up to our good God, 
and trust He will comfort you and make me stronger in 
this bitter separation, which I feel so much the more as 
you may sometimes be even tempted to think we neglect 
the only comfort we can give you in it ; but my poor, 
doating, overflowing heart you ought not, can not doubt, 
my son, nor will you doubt it more than I yours. 

Mr. Brut6 is here on a little visit to us of a day or 
two. He speaks of you and of your dear, docile, amiable 
conduct to him as if it were only yesterday you were 
together. I write our Messrs. Filicchi continually, but 
trust all to the good angel. If only they could know my 
grateful heart, it would be no matter for the rest. 

Dear William, — You will think it a profanation, but 
I cant help. Passing by from the Mountain, on my way 
to Baltimore, I see upon the table of your mother these 
three first words so precious to you, " My own William," 
and I ask to come within with two or three lines, for I 
remain as much as ever attached to you, and so anxious 
that you may be so kind as not to forget your poor Brut6. 



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I rejoice every time they receive (letters) from you, hear- 
ing how well Divine Providence brings on your prosperous 
ways, and, also, very particularly, ah, you know, most of 
all other things, I rejoice at your many little hints of your 
perseverance in your sacred duties ; and you know enough 
how they delight your mother and sisters not to suppress 
them. God bless you. Pray for me. I for you. 

S. Brute. 

Dearest William, — Mr. Brut6 would put his little 
word in, and I have but to add my earnest desire that you 
would keep your heart well resigned about Rebecca. He 
says that there are instances of recovery in her situation, 
but she is extremely weak and suffering. She sits up the 
greater part of the night with her head leaning on my 
bolster, but she is always so gay and has so much forti- 
tude, it delights me and all around her. Often we say : 
" What is Willy doing now ? " and my poor heart tries 
to hide. But, my dear one, we must take all in this 
world as it passes. If only you will cultivate the true 
spirit of a man, and give your noble soul its rights, and 
our God His rights, so immense and endearing. Oh, if I 
did not think you happy, I would be miserable indeed. 
But so much you have already said of every one's kind- 
ness to you, I hope the greatest pain of my William is his 
separation from his own four, and never can you guess how 
truly we share that Bless you a thousand, thousand 
times. Oh, my son, keep your heart high with mine. 
Our God will turn all right for us, if only you will be 
faithful to Him. Every kind remembrance to our friends. 
My very soul wraps itself around yours is all I can say. 
Your own devoted Mother. 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 



Mother and I are left alone while Miss Kate and Mas- 
ter Dick are enjoying themselves. Never mind, one of 
these days we will have our enjoyment too. We are truly 
sorry to hear that you receive so few letters from us after 
having written so many, but I tell mother I think you are 
now enjoying them while we are so uneasy. Ah, do, dearest 
Willy, try to meet me in the world where there are no 
separations, and where my soul will call for no one so 
much as you, next to mother; but I hope we may all 
meet. Pray for me as I pray earnestly for you and all 
our so kind friends. Ever truly your most loving sister, 

Bec 

Excuse my little scrawl I know you don't mind it. 

MR. BRUTi TO REBECCA. 1 

Jesus. — Eve of His Transfiguration. 
Rebecca, my Sister, — You have again been in great 
suffering this day, but your good angel was beside you. 
Mary, your tender mother, saw your pain ; their prayers 
were wafted to the well-Beloved and called down upon 
you His graces. Ah, Rebecca, His grace ! It is that 
gives you patience through the long hours of the day, and 
soothes the restlessness of tired nature. Poor nature ! it 
is too blind and weak to prize the treasure of crosses and 
the happiness of such painful sufferings. But faith ! Oh, 
Rebecca, what a brilliant light faith sheds upon your suf- 
ferings ! Arrange the flowers, 2 it is a holy occupation ; 

1 Original is in French. 

3 The sole amusement of this poor suffering child during the last summer of her 
life, was to make up nosegays from flowers spread out before her on a table, in 
which she used to show a great deal of taste. 



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dispose them to adorn the altar of your well-Beloved, 
while He favors your soul with His choicest and most 
precious graces. Dear child, the martyrs envied such 
happiness as you now possess. The saints of the desert 
voluntarily led a life of continual suffering as yours is. 
Oh !. courage, then; humble, loving courage. It is, I know, 
a faint heart, the most cowardly of hearts that cries out 
to you : have courage ! But I do so in the name of your 
Divine Jesus, pierced, covered with blood, in agony for 
you. Oh, yes, dispose the flowers for His altar, and when 
you are so exhausted as to be unable to do any thing, 
even - to pronounce your prayers, let your silence, your 
peaceful abandonment of every earthly desire, your com- 
plete resignation speak to His heart, to that heart so very 
tender, so infinitely loving. Oh, let us hide ourselves 
within it during this short moment of our mortal life. 
Bright eternity will soon open to us as it opened, a little 
earlier, to Annina. Eternity ! Heaven ! Does not the 
heart rejoice ; is it not raised up at these words ? 

Deign to pray for my retreat. One of your sighs, one 
of your tears offered to God for me ! To pray for others. 
Oh ! what a satisfaction to you, and what sweet-smelling 
incense burnt upon your suffering heart to God, who is all 
charity. Pray then a great deal for others, for those 
whom you hold dear, for those who nurse you, for poor 
sinners, for the souls in purgatory. Make, the first thing 
in the morning, an offering to God of all that you will suffer 
in the course of the day as one unceasing prayer. You 
will thus be a real Daughter of Charity. 

S. BBUTi. 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 



FATHER BAB AD TO REBECCA. 



J. M. J. L. J. 0. 

September 2Mh, 1816. 
Dear, dear Rebecca, — By your last I perceive that 
the fear of death and judgment has pierced through your 
flesh and soul. Thanks to God for such a favor. I hope 
you will now more safely work your salvation with that 
salutary fear, one of the most precious gifts of the. Holy 
Ghost. The more we fear here, the less we shall have to 
fear there. Let humility make amends for the other vir- 
tues which are wanting, and you are striving to acquire. 
You are still but a child, our Lord loves you, and knows 
the infirmity and instability of mind to which your age 
makes you liable. Prepare yourself for the approaching 
feast of our good angels, and believe me forever, 

Tour loving father, 

P. Babad. 

WILLIAM TO MR. BRUTE. 

Leghorn, Aug. 22d> 1816. 
My Dearest Friend, — In pressing haste I wrote yes- 
terday to my beloved mother, by a vessel going unex- 
pectedly to Philadelphia. This morning I received two 
letters from mamma and one from Richard, via Rennes. 
Tour tender heart will better conceive than I express my 
pleasure on receiving these pledges of affection. 

1 Original is in English. 



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Our beloved friend, Mr. Philip Filicchi, is in the agony 
of death ; perhaps to-morrow thousands will bewail him. ! If 
virtue is a prize, they wilFlose indeed. The hundreds of 
poor fed at his hands, the orphans depending on his sup- 
port, the prisoners relieved by his charity, will mourn a 
benefactor. But how tranquil must be the passage from 
this life to eternity of a soul unstained by crime ; of one 
who has ever made his riches subservient to religion, and 
placed his honor, not in money, but in God ! Mamma gives 
a distressing account of Bee's health. Dear, beloved sister, 
if I could only hold her once more in my arms, that mo- 
ment would be worth more than years of pleasure. I can 
not bear the thought of losing her while I am so far away, 
but God's will be done. I am glad to hear that you have 
got Dick 1 so near you, and I hope all will be satisfied with 

him Present my kindest respects to Mr. and 

Mrs. Chatard, Mr. and Mrs. Barry, and our good friends 
the Tiernans. I conclude by assuring you of the unceas- 
ing love and gratitude of your friend and servant, 

William Seton. 

The following letter, from the Reverend President of 
St. Mary's, illustrates his literary taste, and instances a 
zealous desire of forwarding the study of the classics in 
the institution over which he presided : — 

1 Richard was in Mr. Luke Tiernan's counting-house in Baltimore. 

vol. il— 15 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OP 



MR. BRUTE TO WILLIAM. 
* 

Baltimore, Oct. 17th, 1816. 

My Dear William, — I request you most earnestly to 
present this supplique to the MM. Filicchi. 

" Two editions of newly discovered manuscripts of classics 
have been given at Milan by F. Angelo Mayo, 2 consisting 
of the works of Fronto and Symmachus, together with a 
great many pieces inedites, letters, etc., of many of the 
most celebrated names of antiquity : Sallust, Ennius, Plau- 
tus, Cato, Pliny — the Emperors Antoninus Pius, Marcus 
Aurelius, Verus, the historian Appian." 

To possess here these new literary treasures, to have 
them the first in our college, and perhaps be able imme- 
diately, by subscription, to give the first American edition, 
would be an honor for the Catholics — an honor which 
antiquity ought to yield rather to Catholics. May your 
zeal incline you, respected gentlemen, to procure and send 
us a copy of them. Such is the humble and confident 

1 The original is in English. 

• The celebrated Mai (afterwards Librarian of the Vatican and Cardinal of Holy 
Roman Church), who had acquired his remarkably studious dispositiou in the learned 
Society of Jesus, was at this time engaged in exploring the Ambrosian library, in 
which he discovered, and brought to light many treasures latent in twice-written 
manuscripts (palimpsests). B. 1782, D. 1854. 

I well remember the enthusiastic eulogy of this great man, which our professor 
of archaeology, Baron Visconti, made to us one day that he took his scholars an 
excursion on the Palatine, and bid them remark that he who living had done so 
much for our knowledge of ancient Rome, illustrated its history even after death ; 
for it happened that the workmen employed in clearing the foundation for the 
tomb which, before dying, he had designated for himself in his title of Santa Ana- 
stasia Sub Palatio, struck upon a portion of the very walls of Romulus. 

" E'en in our ashes live their wonted fires." 



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prayer of the friend of William, who from this shore shares 
so sincerely in all his love for you. 

S. Brute, 
President of St. Mary 8 College, 

Dear Sir, — If there was any mode by which those 
books could be sent to me, I would pay their value, if a 
bill could be sold on me for the amount. If they were 
given to the captain of the ship Scioto, he would take 
charge of them. Yours, with regard, 

Luke Tiernan. 

Postscript by Mr. BruU. 

A letter which I received yesterday from our dear Mr. 
Cheverus, the bishop of Boston, has this paragraph, which 
I sent to-day to your ma. " La veuve de M. John 0. Seton 9 
le frere du mari de Mme. Seton, $e dispose en ce moment avec 
ses deux en/ants a entrer dans lEglise. Elle vient assidument 
a lEglise catholique" Persevere, dear William, both in 
your principles and steady habits of piety. 

rev. mr. dubois to william. 1 

Mt. St. Mary's. 
Our own Dear William, — Our Dick is here on a visit. 
I must profit by his return to write, if it is only a few 
lines to you. I would write a volume if I had time, but 
to my former almost excessive business is added the care 
of the parish, since good Mr. Brut6 left us. Every account 
we receive of and from you would increase my affection 
for you, if possible ; certainly it gives me always a new 

1 The original is in English. 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 



pleasure. Continue, my beloved friend, by your steady, 
religious, and manly conduct and attention to business, to 
gladden the declining years of your excellent mother, to 
open the road to your affectionate brother, and to secure 
to your probably only surviving sister the respectability 
and protection which the good only can give. 

Your mother is as well as her constant attendance on 
Rebecca can allow. Indeed, her health with such hard- 
ships is a miracle, up one-half of the night at least, for 
three months past ; she does not quit her a moment in the 
day time. This blessed little angel is melting away, but 
amidst the ruins of her little frame, the soul appears to 
shine brighter than ever. Her eyes, too, are clear and 
piercing yet. Cheerful, nay, playful, whenever pain leaves 
her a moment, she talks of her going to heaven just as 
you were talking of going to Italy. Last Friday, having 
felt uncommon pains, she expressed a desire to receive 
extreme unction. I could not but approve of so pious an 
intention, and although I saw no immediate danger, I 
thought she would receive this last sacrament with better 
dispositions by being more sensible. Accordingly, I went 
to her room to hear her confession, in order to give her 
extreme unction the next day. It is impossible to give 
you an idea of the composure of mind and heavenly resig- 
nation of this blessed angel. After her confession was 
over, " Father," said she, u is there any harm to hope that 
I will go to heaven as soon as I am dead ? " No, my 
beloved child, said I, if the hope is grounded not on any 
confidence you have in your own merits, but in the mercy 
of God and the merits of our Jesus. " Oh ! " said she, " it 
is so, I understand it ; what merits such a child as I could 
have ! but when I look at the cross, and consider that our 



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Lord has shed His blood to save me, then I hope that my 
sufferings will be accepted as my penance without going 

to purgatory 1 Oh, how would I like to go to 

heaven! Then I would love God, and would not be afraid 
to lose Him." The next day she felt better. Richard, 
whom she wished very much to see, came, and finding 
her in a kind of fit of joy, I advised her to postpone 
extreme unction to a time when, suffering more, she would 
be in need of all the help of this sacrament. 

Our seminary is more numerous than ever. 

The garden will be finished this year, as well as the yard, 
which will be planted with trees this fall. I bought all 
the woodlands between us and the plantation which for- 
merly belonged to Wyse. The dormitories are plastered. 
I built a corn-house and granary over the cave, and by 
building a good brick-wall round the spring, have suc- 
ceeded in carrying the water to a milk-house which I have 
formed under the stone-house, then to a long trough near 
where the pump was, with twenty-four cocks for twenty- 
four boys to wash at the same time. The same trough 
conveys water under-ground into the kitchen, and still the 
spring has water enough to send into the garden through 
pipes, with a spout of water in the middle of it which 
rises from ten to fifteen feet. I tell you all that, my 
dearest friend, because it has been the spot of your in- 
fancy, and that it naturally recalls to your mind many 
sweet remembrances. 

When you write to me again, let me know whether 
such urns as you remember we have for flower-pots on our 
altar can be had at Leghorn, and what is the price and 

1 These dots, marking something left out) axe in the original 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 



the probable expense of carriage here ; also, whether pic- 
tures, twelve feet high, and good copies of masters, could 
be had from students on reasonable terms. I should be 
glad to get half a dozen to complete our church; but I 
wish to have no pictures but such as should be edifying, 
and eight or ten urns for St. Joseph's and Mount St. 
Mary's. Do not say a word about any of the above articles 
to the good Messrs. Filicchi: enough has been already 
given by them. Poor as we are, I will muster all my 
resources. We may use the charity of our friends : we 
must not abuse of it. 

Farewell, my beloved friend ; that every blessing may 
attend is the daily prayer of everybody here, but particu- 
larly of your devoted friend and servant, 

J. Dubois. 

I send you a hasty scrawl begun at eleven o'clock at 
night ; hence so many scratches, as you will remark. I 
had begun it this morning, but was called away to attend 
poor old Joseph Livers, who fell from his hay-loft down 
to the barn-floor, about twenty feet. Happily, he did not 
kill himself. 

RELATING TO REBECCA. — NOTES AND JOURNAL BY HER MOTHER. 



1816. — Rebecca at recreation says : " How can any- 
one think of what our Lord has done for them and not 
love Him 1 That is such a mystery to me why everybody 
does not love Him. Sometimes I have such feelings — 
almost like despair — because I can not keep my good res- 
olutions ; but when I have these sorrowful thoughts, and 



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I can only look at a crucifix, I directly think : Be sure He 
will forgive after He has done all that for me." 

* 

St. Joseph's Patronage, Sunday, — Our sea of sorrow a 
little past. Poor Bee, with blessed Sister Sarah holding 
her, can contain her misery a moment and be quiet after 
a conflict of five days and nights in groans, and tears, and 
agonies — out of my power to give any least idea of. Could 
not believe if I had not seen. Always saying : a My dear 
Lord, my dear mother," with incessant big rolling tears — 
unable to sit or lie. When she at last could remain a few 
moments in bed, and the excessive agony was suspended, 
I said : " Well, Bee, not a single little prayer these three 
nights and days ! " " Indeed, but, dearest mother, for my 
part, every moment of the time I was praying." Poor 
darling, once she stared her large eyes, and said to us, as 
if in consultation : "lam almost tempted to beg our Lord 
to ease me, do you think it will displease Him ? " and with 
such faith, when permitted, she begged Him to let her 
have only a moment to get into a posture, and actually 
was eased enough to get into bed, almost gone, though. 

Rogation Monday {May 20£A, that year). — Poor dar- 
ling ! Telling her of our beautiful meditation on the love 
of God, she told me, as I knelt beside her : " Ah, dearest 
mother, I now hardly dare tell God I love Him, 1 prove it 
so badly ; and it seems like a bold falsehood to say and 
not do any thing to prove it. Indeed, I think our Lord 
sent me this sickness for my neglect of my little practices 
of piety since the retreat; for when I have been out 



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amopg the girls taking a little pleasure, it did go so hard 
with me to leave them and go to the chapel ; yet when I 
am there, I seem never to have time to say enough. Yet 
you know, too, how negligent I have been these two 
weeks ; still it is certain I prayed night and day, in con- 
tinual aspiration since I have been so, for no one can help 
me but He." Dear, simple heart ! these her exact words 
with such pure looks of sincere meaning. Oh ! my God ! 
how piercing to my cold, dead heart, so truly, without 
proof or effect. Dear, dear Rebecca, every day dearer 
and more resigned, I must hope she will be safe. 

Opening her eyes with weary smiles at me, she says : 
" I must die, that is clear ; how will you live without me, 
mother ? " " Mother will soon wear away and follow, 
darling." We exchange so many rapturous looks of hope. 
Now she gets Mr. Brute's picture. I would have put it 
away, but — " No, no," she cried, " nowhere but opposite 
-my eyes, at the foot of my bed." 

July 20M. — -> — Dear beloved Bee — obliged to give up 
her bed entirely ; no change of position from continual 
sitting, but to kneel a little on one knee. 

Softly she sings the little words : — 

" Now another day is gone, 
So much pain and sorrow oyer, 
So much nearer our dear home; 
There we'll praise Him, there we'll bless Trim, 
Ever, ever, ever more." 

She leans so peacefully her darling head on mother's 
lap, and offers up, she says, " her poor body covered 
with the blood of our Jesus." In a peaceable evening mo- 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 233 

ment she said : a Not only reconciled and willing, but my 
heart jumps for joy when I think of my crown ; yet, alsoj 
I look the other side and I fear, but, indeed, I do try to 
be very sorry for all my sins." 

To-day again we talked it all over. The darling be- 
loved is determined to hope all. At sunset, her little 
heart melting into mine, she drew the picture of our love 
and her happiness in her own mother ; and told with live- 
liest memory the sufferings she had seen in poor-house 
and hospital in Philadelphia, remembering all the poor 
people said to her ; her delight in carrying them snuff 
and little articles, from her pocket money. Then made 
her comparison of the love of all around her, and her many 
comforts. I ask her, Can you say, with a true heart, Thy 
will be done ? " Oh, that I can," she answered, brighten- 
ing with joy, "if that is enough." Dear, dear darling, 
how she is wrapt in the very nerves of my soul. 

Again, up night after night. And now the most sim- 
ple but earnest preparation for communion, with long 
silent looks at the Ecce Homo opposite her, and though 
exhausted by restless pain, yet received at the choir door 
with white cap and cape. Such a dear, simple, recollected 
heart — running her little fingers under words in the pray- 
ers she delights in — full rest of the finger and long sigh on 
the words in the litany, Cross of Jesus, support me. Then 
said, with her whole soul, her favorite 102d Psalm. 

Reading in a book, on sufferings, these words : " The 
little bark draws near to land ; do not regret that it will 
so soon be safe, or desire again to try the boisterous ocean." 
She read my look, and answered : " Dearest mother, you 
think I am not willing to die, but I am, indeed, I am ; all 
I fear are my sins. Oh, my Saviour, pity and pardon me." 



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Then, again, after a long silence on my breast, our tears 
so well mixed together : " Yet I can not think our Lord 
would send me so much suffering, if He did not mean it 
for my penance, and to save me ; and I have, indeed, that 
comfort to remember I always prepared for confession 
carefully, and was very earnest to obtain the grace of good 
absolutions. Death, death ! oh, mother, it seems so strange 
I shall be no more here. You will come back, my dearest 
mother (drawing her cheek to mine), you will come back 
alone. How lonesome you will be : no poor little Bee. 
But that is only one side. When I look at the other, I 
forget all that, for you hope my salvation is sure, don't 
you?" 

Eve of St. Theresa. — So many times alluding to the 
terrors of death : tears rolling, arms clasped round my 
neck, yet looking on the crucifix with the frequent little 
smile and expression of hope and confidence, repeating : 
" My dear, dearest Lord," through every aching of the 
bones and tearing of her cough 

St. Theresas Day. — What a morning passed with the 
darling — her perspectives — the large, clear eyes raised up, 
and often streaming with tears, while she would wrap her 
arms around me so tenderly in silence. While I was cov- 
ering her feet, she said : " Mother, the worst is, I will have 
to give an account of all the masses I have heard so badly. 
Oh, my carelessness !" and her tears redoubled ; " and 
my first communion — yet surely I tried to make it well; 
and, finally, dearest mother, if I have so great a blessing 
as the last sacraments " — she looked earnestly at the cru- 
cifix and dried her tears, saying : " One drop of that blood 



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would have done enough, yet He gave all to cover us with 
His merits." She then spoke of receiving extreme unc- 
tion, of her last struggles. " There is something dreadful 
in death, my mother," and she turned again a strong look 
at the crucifix. After a while she added : " How I will 
beg our Lord to let me come and comfort you, and be near 
my William ;" but the thousand, thousand endearments 
of her manner while saying these things can never be 
expressed. Waking through the night, she would be 
speaking of what was doing in heaven, where there was no 
dark night, no racking pains. In the morning, she asked 
for all her little papers. Some, she would say, " are foolish 
and simple indeed, but were written in good moments — 
these burn, and these, because they relate to my confes- 
sions (looking on one side, she burst into tears). Oh, I 
received absolution the day I wrote this;" and with a 
long look to the sky opposite our window, she added : 
" That absolution was written in heaven, I trust, my 
mother, and I shall have all the last sacraments, and be 
remembered so often at the altar when I am gone ; and 
may I not now often go to communion, my mother, while 
I stay ? I may have so much yet to go through." 

17th October. — All resigned and cheerful, she told me : 
" Now if Dr. Chatard was to say, 6 Rebecca, you will get 
well,' I would not wish it. Oh, no, my dear Saviour, I 
know now the happiness of an early death ; and to sin no 
more, my mother, there is the point " (wrapping her arm 
around me). " Last night I seemed, in the midst of my 
misery, to be quite gone from my body, and I was some- 
where summoning all the saints and angels to pray for 
me; but the Blessed Virgin, St. Joseph, my own angel, 



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St. Augustin, and St. Francis Xavier, whom you know I 
love so (St. Augustin's burning heart for our Lord, you 
know, too, mother), these I seemed to claim and insist on 
their defending me in judgment. Oh, my mother, that 
judgment ! " Then, again, with eyes fixed on the crucifix, 
she would remain silent as long as pain would permit. 

" Oh, mother, mother, how I suffer ; do pray for me — 
so much I may have yet to go through. You see every 
day something is added of new warning how soon I am to 
go. Dear, dearest mother, yet I do not remember more 
than once or twice to have thought my sufferings too hard, 
or to have felt any bad impatience, so our Lord will pity 
me and give me a short purgatory, I hope, but His will 
in that too : at least, I will be safe there, and sin no more." 

She will hear no more little amusing readings, nor play 
our little plays — " One only object, my mother — one alone 
now, all the rest is nothing." Yet she is the liveliest little 
soul in her worst pains. In the play of her heart she 
says : " I consent, dear Lord, to live till You are born, ,, 
meaning until Christmas. 

Poor little darling! she clasps her dear hands and 
bows the head over them in the gentlest manner, hiding 
the death-pale face so often wet with tears, saying : " I do 
wish so His will should be done, my mother." Our God ! 
how dear to me to see His love in my little darling so 
above human nature, while she says, looking at her cruci- 
fix : " Not one moment would He let me suffer, but for my 
good — our compassionate Saviour." 

Richard come. She looks at the crucifix, and 

says : "lam so thankful since our Lord permits it — if my 
William — but I must resign," and fixing her eyes on the 
crucifix : " Yet," said she, " tell how I loved and blessed 



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him to the last — oh, his precious soul !" "Ah, mother," 
she says, with her endearing look, " why so sad and sor- 
rowful ? If our dear Lord sends pains, He sends us com- 
forts, too." Her dear, simple heart rests with such confi- 
dence in God. " I am covered with His own blood, I 
must hope." She sits up night and day in her chair, now 
leaning sometimes on my arm ; yet laughs at being sleepy, 
and says : "I am so tired, and look how bright Annina's 
carpet is — my dear, dear home" (meaning the sky). All- 
Saints' Eve she felt herself much worse, and earnestly 
entreated for the last sacraments. In the afternoon I had 
read to her (not foreseeing the change, but by the hap- 
piest grace of the moment) different prayers and senti- 
ments on receiving the holy viaticum and extreme unction, 
in a dear little French book of dialogues between our Lord 
and the soul, so that she was as fully prepared as de- 
pended on exterior help, and the interior force of faith 
gave her an avidity and comfort pictured in every feature 
and action. The superior being gone, she sat in the atti- 
tude of a person expecting some awful event ; every motion 
or word seemed too much, every cough she thought her 
last; eyes to the crucifix or bent on mother in wistful 
questions, "Is He coming now?" (meaning our Lord). 
" Say this little prayer — that little prayer." So passed 
the night. In the morning the superior sent word he 
could not leave the congregation, and Mr. Hickey came to 
give the last plenary indulgence. Every one dreaded to 
tell her, knowing her extreme reserve and reluctance to 
see a stranger ; but how far her heart of faith from that ! 
She received him with the most pure look at God ; thanked 
him, and begged his prayers in her broken voice, and ex- 
pressed in every way she could how satisfied she was with 



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his coming Still, from hour to hour, waiting through 

the long day, looking at her first communion candle burn- 
ing under the crucifix before her as at a clock, quite sure 
that when the little candle was burnt down she would go ; 
and the pious thoughts from the little heart beating so 
short and quick — the aspirations about her first communion 
— her thanks for the graces now showered on her, until 
the candle dropped in the socket. Then a look at the 
crucifix of deep disappointment and tenderest submission to 
His will in union with His agony in the garden, expressed 
in the broken words her cough and choking permitted. 
Night came, and with it some rising fears of temptations 
and dread that her patience might fail. In infinite good- 
ness He sent the superior, who, seeing the most pitiable 
situation of the dear sufferer, kindly offered to stay with 
her the night. Her joy and gratitude were inexpressible ; 
the presence of a priest seemed a security to her against 
all the power of the enemy. She begged him even to say 
his office near her, keeping up the most cheerful smiles, 
and reminding me that Mr. Brut6 used to call our little 
room " the Tabernacle of the Just." She would often look 
round at him, so pleased, though seeing only his back, and 
would express to me by signs and looks at the crucifix her 
peace and contentment. At midnight, not having slept or 
eaten for more than twenty-four hours, the superior told 
her to take something and try and sleep. " Well, I will not 
come back if I get asleep. Good-bye to you, sir ; good-bye, 
Sister Susan, give my love to everybody ; good-bye, dear 
Kit (kissing her most tenderly) ; and you, sweetest mother, 
good-bye." Her little heart filled as she hung her arms 
around me. The superior said, we will all sleep, too. 
" Oh, I hope not," said she, alarmed. I assured her mo- 



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ther would watch, and she composed herself, telling me : 
" I will give your love to all I meet on my journey ." But 

no sleep or rest for her 

All-Souls day come, her hopes redoubled. Our God ! 
our God ! Rebecca s hours and agonies known to You 
alone. The meek, subdued, submissive look ; the pure, 
artless appeals of sorrow and unutterable distress. Sink 
and faint, poor heart, while recalling them. The hundred 
little acts of piety that All-Souls' day so sad and awful ; 
the fears of poor mother's bleeding heart for patience and 
perseverance, the silence. Oh, our God ! the looks of that 
day. How often were the blood and wounds of our Jesus 
offered as our only appeal, no one daring to ask for her 
relief, for fear of anticipating Your will, or depriving her of 
the grace she so ardently desired of making her purgatory 
with her mother, or interfering in any way with the designs 
of Your infinite love. Yet the dread of our own weakness ! 
Oh ! that day, and night again, and following day. The 

bare remembrance, how agonizing I must not even 

be out of sight a moment. "My love is so weak, so 
imperfect," she said, " I have proved it so little, I have 
been so unfaithful/' and her poor heart seemed sinking, 
but her silent, expressive looks were on the crucifix. . . . 
The little crucifix round her neck so tenderly pressed and 
fastened to the dying lips or breast ! The expression with 
which she said the words in the hymn, Jesus, lover of my 
soul, "hangs my helpless soul on Thee!" and again the 
cheerful union with the hymn : " Come, let us lift our joy- 
ful eyes." .... At night the superior came again, prom- 
ising to stay with her to the last. So often she bowed her 
little agonizing head (in which all her misery seemed cen- 
tered) to the holy water he signed her with ; at last, near 



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four in the morning, Sister Cecilia beside her, mother's 
arms lifting her, she sunk down between us, but the dear 
head fell on the well-known heart it loved so well. Think 
only of your Blessed Saviour now, my darling, I said. 
" To be sure, certainly," she answered, and said no more, 
dropping her head for the last time on her mother s breast 

Ever-memorable day. for me. Rebecca laid so low 
beside Annina. Mother could think of nothing but Te 
Deum in the bitterest anguish, and hearing the loud sobs 
around. The heart is high above. 

Eve of the Octave of . — Dear suffering Bee. Blessed 

child of the cross. Her hours seemed days, but our Jesus 
kept the register of them. Oh, Infinite Love ! Eternal 
Love ! Love for her in eternity of old and eternity to 
come : Jesus between these two eternities suffering for 
her, suffering for Rebecca. Happy little one whom the 
world so kindly pitied in its ignorance, seeing not behind 
the curtain of faith, seeing not the merits Rebecca was 
treasuring by her union with the passion of her Jesus, 
seeing not her suffering ardor to kiss with so many tears 
the Adorable Hand pressing the nails and thorns so sharp 
to nature, yet so dear as the dispensation of His grace and 
love. How continual was her look to her dying Saviour ! 
Dearest Rebecca, now your sufferings are over, faith and 
hope are no more for you, but love enjoys and triumphs 
for eternity. So pure the sky over the dear graves, Re- 
becca's already well covered with greenest moss, and even 
a little violet in full flower on it. A long silence there — 
but communion to-morrow again, and next day, and next 
day. 



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ELIZABETH TO MRS. SCOTT. 

Nw. Uth, 1816. 

My Dear Friend, — I know very well how 

you are pitying me, but if you had seen my little beloveds 
sufferings as I did, you would have been glad to see so 
good and innocent a little soul set free. No one could 
guess what Rebecca was who did not see her in her ex- 
cessive sufferings. She was, you know, but a good-looking 
child ; but the last months of her life she grew so lovely, 
soul and body, it would have delighted you to see her, 
even in death. But death, death, my Julia — what is 
death ? and that long, long eternity ? My little room has 
a window looking directly on the woods where my darlings 
sleep. It keeps up my heart to look there over twenty 
times a day — first thing in the morning, last at night, and 
think : No more pain now ; up, up, the beautiful, joyous 
souls. 

Remember me to those I so truly love around you, 
and always love your poor 

E. A. Seton. 

REV. MR. BRUTE TO WILLIAM. 1 

Baltimore, November, 1816. 
My Deab William, — Though we can scarcely hold our 
correspondence very closely, yet this is too particular an 
occasion. I could not keep silent to one I love more ten- 
derly than he can imagine, since, after our reserve of first 

1 The original is in English. 



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traveling acquaintance being over, those letters from 
Marseilles, from Leghorn these, reached well my inmost 
heart. It is for Rebecca I write, whom you so dearly 
loved, and, I dare say, I loved also as an aged brother — 
so charmed with that young, so innocent, so amiable little 
sister. My William, were you by me in this dark room 
of my lonely presidence, tears alone with yours would be 
the whole talk and expression at such a moment. But 
surely you say that I would but feel it is the brother of 
the womb, and a most fond brother, who beside me would 
shed his bitter tears, and you, that the tears of the poor 
priest are bound to flow only before his God, and with a 
full thought of his duty to Him and to the hearts He tries, 
and charges him to comfort and lift up to heaven. My 
William ! how easy, indeed, this time to carry up these 
sorrows to heaven and follow such an angel with a kind 
of sad yet delightful exultation. I hope you will feel a 
powerful impression from such unspeakable comfort as has 
softened here, for all, the departure of our beloved child. 

My William, be attentive to the voice of Grace on the 
occasion. Dwell in prayer on the best thoughts of the mo- 
ment. You, a sensible and lofty soul, love to soar above 
in your good time of prayer. Prayer, ah, prayer ! our 
speaking with God, our infinitely beloved ! Prayer, my 
William ; do give up your heart in time to it, and that 
often. Your heart is the best heart, made for the only 
true enjoyment of this life, religion. Oh, my William! 
Yet, as in that night likely to be our last on the high seas 
together, let me entreat you for religion, but heartfelt, 
practical religion. See that excellent Mr. Philip Filicchi, 
whom I never knew, yet have wept for with you and 
mother ; see, as of Rebecca's, the triumph of that death. 



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Reflect on it, cherish for yourself the prospect ; such be 
your end. Pray for your poor friend, 

S. Brute. 

The Right Reverend Bishop Cheverus went to Em- 
mitsburg early in December, and cheered Elizabeth by 
his sympathy and the holy tone of his condolement for 
her recent loss. Before bidding farewell — it was the last 
time they ever saw one another on earth — he presented 
her with a little English prayer-book, as a souvenir of 
his visit to the Sisterhood. On the fly-leaf of it, he 
wrote : — 

"Dear Sister, remember in your prayers your affection- 
ate servant in the Lord. * John, Bp. of Boston." 

ELIZABETH TO MRS. DUPLEX. 1 

My ever dear Duplex, — I hope the blessed Bishop 
Cheverus will take this letter to you himself, as there 
seems a spell on all I write to you by post. I wrote that 
our little beloved was gone. You can understand, and 
you only, her triumph and delight in the last sacraments, 
and dearest hopes even after death through the divine 
sacrifice of the altar. I could give you no possible idea 
of the peace, sweetness, fortitude, and piety of that beau- 
tiful soul which shone so well and so purely on her face. 
High, high up your heart, dearest friend ; no sad and un- 
availing regrets. See her now, where she is, and that will 
silence all. Rebecca was so well convinced of the happi- 

: She was singularly attached to Rebecca. 



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ness of an early death as an escape from the thousand 
temptations, as well as from the sorrows of life ; so grate- 
ful to die surrounded by every help for her soul, and in 
the arms of her doating mother, that I can scarcely wish 
sweet Kit a better lot if the fondest desire of my heart 
could be granted. Dear Bee used to tell her : " You may 
depend, Kitty, I will pray you up." Sister Susan said : 
" You think yourself a great favorite, Miss Bee, to be 
heard so easily ! " " No, I don't," she answered, solemnly, 
" but with all the sacraments, and covered with the blood 
of my Saviour, I do hope every thing." 



1817-1 8-1 9-20-21 . — Letters. — William returns from 
Italy. — Sisters sent to New York. — Letters. — Wil- 
liam a Midshipman. — Letters of the Mother and 
the Son. — Mr. Brute to a Nephew of Elizabeth. — 
Letters of the Mother and the Son. — The Mother's 
Death. 

elizabeth to mrs. sadler. 

January, 1817. 
My cheek began to burn the moment I saw the well- 
known, long-loved writing of your hand ; and, after read- 
ing, my quiet heart commenced to flutter at the thought 
that your first impression at my long silence was so far 
from the true cause ; but I still it by an appealing look to 
the crucifix, so long the book of my dying Bee. So far 
from religion being a source of coldness or neglect towards 
you, it is that very point in my little compass of life that 



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brings my thoughts and liveliest imaginations closest to 
you. ..... Yet that most delicate and sacred subject 

I have long since learned to leave to God, except where 
my duty is explicit. 1 

Since dearest Bee is gone, I am free from so many 
painful cares, and able to fulfill so many more duties in the 
service of our little world in St. Joseph's, that every thing 
seems to show a new color, and life has a charm for me 
which I often wondered could be found in it 

TO WILLIAM. 

St. Valentine's (Uth Feb.), 1817. 
My Soul's Own William, — The bitter, freezing wind 
is now always rattling, and they write me on every side 
— New York and Baltimore — that the ice will let no 
vessel go to you ; yet my head and heart are so full of 
you that, though letters for you are waiting at both ports, 
I must write. If I wake in the night, I think it is your 
angel wakes me to pray for j'ou ; and last night I found 
myself actually dropping asleep repeating your name over 
and over, and appealing to our Lord, with the agony of a 
mother's love, for our long, and dear, and everlasting 
reunion. 

TO THE SAME. 

April 4<A, 1817. 
My Own William, — If any thing in this world could 
endear you more to the heart and soul of your mother, it 

1 She alludes to her faith, which she never obtruded upon friends or strangers. 



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would be your letters by the Scioto. Far, indeed, be it 
from me to hold so dear and generous a son by any tie of 
duty to me in a situation which does not meet the bent 
of his wishes ; yet your own mother is obliged to entreat 
you to have still a little patience, that we may judge for 
the best with more safety. I wrote Mr. Filicchi earnestly 
some months ago on the subject of your future prospects 
in commerce, and twice since, most pressingly, on the sit- 
uation of Richard, and now a letter accompanies this with 
a statement of your sentiments in your own words, which 
do you the greatest honor, my son, and fill your mother's 
heart through all our painful trials with inexpressible 
consolation ; for by them I see well that integrity and 
filial love overrule all your youthful and natural feelings, 
and I can but be most grateful to our God and to you that 
they have so long held you under circumstances most pain- 
ful to you. I have now gained my main object in parting 
with you, my beloved son, which was not so much to 
establish you with affluent friends, or set you on a tide of 
fortune, as to give you time to know yourself a little, to 
know the world a little, and to overcome your first ardent 
propensity for the navy, which I know is even now the 
passion of your heart ; yet it would be unjust to our ten- 
der affection if I withheld my whole mind from you who 
have so well unfolded yours to me, and should conceal 
from you my fears, not for your dear person, my darling 
son, but for the dear immortal object which your Annina 
and your Bee would now solicit you for even more earn- 
estly than your poor mother and Kitty. My souls Wil- 
liam, I need not tell you to rise above the clouds that 
surround us. You know well enough that we must pass 
our course of trials with the rest of human beings ; those 



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who have least of them are not the most enviable. For 
my part, I would think all the pains I ever endured fully 
rewarded by the sweet and unspeakable pleasure I re- 
ceived in reading your sentiments of love and duty con- 
tained in your last letters; and as to those of independence 
and honor, I see only what every honest man ought to 
feel, and glory in them instead of differing with you, quite 
sure that in your case I should feel exactly as you do. I 
would be too happy to inclose your letters to Mr. Filicchi, 
but fear you might not approve it, though every word 
speaks but gratitude and purest sentiments of virtue. If 
you could take confidence and open your mind to him 
freely, point out your consciousness of not " earning your 
bread " as you say, and even consult him on the change 
you would desire. All I can say is, that you will never 
want every nerve of my heart exerting itself for you, in 
whatever path you may enter. What more can your own 
mother add ? If a mother's love could be a fortune to you, 
you would be rich indeed ; alas, it is poor coin in this world ; 
but be assured it will bear its interest in heaven, where it 
solicits, I may truly say day and night, for every blessing 
on you. 

Dearest William, the more I think of it, the happier I 
am, you have spoken your dear heart out. Mr. Filicchi 
himself must surely be pleased, for how could you have 
passed almost two years in a way so unfruitful without his 
being sensible of it? I send this by way of New York. 
Oh, my William, if it was but I who could be so near you 
as this letter will, that I might tell you not to be fearful 
of making me unhappy, and hear from your own mouth 
what possible step I could take to make you happier. I 
can only repeat to you the desire of my heart. Here our 



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second Good Friday of separation. Oh, the heart of a 
mother in that hour ! Bless, bless you a thousand times. 

TO THE SAME. 

April, 1817. 

How I shall long, long to hear from you again, but 
many a day must pass before. Richard is very busy, he 
says, this spring time, but his remaining or not at Mr. 
Tiernans yet undecided. You two boys are the whole 
world to me. Sweet Kit, like a little dove in the ark, 1 but 
you two out on the wide ocean. What a difference. 

My dearest one, I make you an extract of the page I 
wrote Mr. Filicchi, that you may know what I have said 
to him, and I hope and trust it will not give you more 
pain ; you will know how to act in consequence. 

" By the Scioto my William writes me, and opens his 
heart in a manner that would please you from a son, as it 
did me. After repeating, as in all his letters, the most 
generous treatment he has received from yourself and 
families 2 in strongest expressions of gratitude, he says that 
since he is in Leghorn he is conscious of not having saved 
you the least expense in the counting-house, his own words 
are : 6 If I were only of sufficient use to spare one clerk, I 
might say that I earned my bread, though still under 
every obligation for kindness beyond what I could have 
hoped,' " etc. Bless you a thousand times. Love your 
own mother as she does you. Remember me always to 
our friends. 

1 At St Joseph's. 1 His own and his brother Philip's. 



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WILLIAM TO HIS MOTHER. 

Leghorn, May 1817. 
My Dearest Mother, — I avail myself with pleasure of 
an unexpected occasion for Baltimore again to address 
you. I believe it is more than a month since I last wrote 
by the Heroine, via Boston, no opportunity having since 
offered. About two weeks ago I received, by a vessel 
from New York to Genoa, your letter of January, inclosing 
lines from our dear Mr. Brut£ and beloved Kitty. It is 
the only one since the loss of our little angel, though you 
mention having written repeatedly; indeed, I have received 
none from yourself mentioning the last moments of our 
dear one, and yet I hardly regret the circumstance. The 
thought is always painful. The touching letter of Mr. 
Dubois more than sufficed (though no incentive was neces- 
sary) to call forth all the tender feelings of a brother, and 
at the same time to inspire the most pleasing certainty of 
her future happiness. I find that many of my letters, 
also, have miscarried; so you see the misfortune is re- 
ciprocal, and we must be patient, though on such occa- 
sions it requires no small exertion to be so. However, 
I know your dear heart is ever the same, and of your 
love I am always sure, with or without letters, and you 
know me too well to think that I could neglect you for a 

moment 

Our good Mrs. Philip Filicchi resides entirely at Pisa. 
I saw her a fortnight or three weeks ago, and she was 
exceedingly well, better than I had ever seen her. Her 
health has since been confirmed to me by letters. Mr. 
Anthony and family now occupy the beautiful house in 



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which Mr. Philip resided, and have very much improved 
it All are quite well, and love you as much as ever. . . . 

TO HIS BROTHER RICHARD. 

Leghorn, May IStfA, 1817. 

I have laid open my mind to mamma with 

regard to my situation here. I am confident, my dearest 
mother and you will feel with me the inconvenience of 
being a burden to those who have in so high a degree 
extended their generosity to us. In no other light can I 
view my remaining in Leghorn. I sincerely hope that the 
explanation I have given may not in the least disturb her. 
Certainly, years of misery would be preferable to giving 
her a moments pain ; but she must be sensible that if a 
change is necessary at so critical a time of life, no time 
should be lost in effecting it. Perhaps I may long lament 
the two years already lost, but it is not too late to do 
something yet 

In the month of May Catharine Seton was at a friend's 
house in Baltimore. She had formed some of the younger 
girls at St Joseph's into a decury, after the manner of 
her sister Annina, and used to watch over them with all 
the care of a little mother. The two following letters are 
from one of her children, and in their sweet simplicity 
may recall to some the memory of early years at the valley 
school of Emmitsburg. 



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ELIZABETH 8ET0N. 



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TO MISS CATHARINE JOSEPHINE SETON. 

St. Joseph's Valley, May 1817. 
My own Dearest, dear Mother, — How long the time 
seems since you have left us ! All your children are writing 
to you, and as we have to write on half sheets of paper, 
mine shall be full. My own precious mother, I hope you 
will return in better health than you left us (in). All 
your children say your sacred-heart beads for you every 
day. Oh ! my dear mother, you do not know how much 
I love you. I feel so dull since you have been gone ! 
Mother says she will not look at our letters, so we can 
write what we please. Dearest mother, when you write, 
tell me whose letter you open first, and mind, call me 
6 daughter ' in your letter, for I love you to call me daugh- 
ter ; and do please write me as long a letter as you do Eliza 
and Jane, or I shall be jealous, for though you told me at 
the mountain never to admit so mean a passion, I do not 
know if I have not felt a slight stroke of it already. Dear 
mother, I hope you are very happy in Baltimore, where 
you see your dear brother and all those girls you love so 
much. Do not make yourself unhappy about our dearest 
mother, 1 as she is in good health, and contented, because 
she thinks you are happy. Write soon to us all, as we 
are impatient for a letter from our dear mother. I hope 
the ride did you some good, as it was such a pleasant time 
of the year for traveling. I take great care of your lily, 
and water it every evening. It grows very fast. How 
much I wish for the 29th of June, as mother says she 

1 Elizabeth. 



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expects you home on that day — such a happy day it will 
be ! How I wish for it ! I was at the mountain on Mon- 
day ; I thought of your being then in St. Peters church, 
and so far from me ; but then if you were happy it was no 
matter. I could write a book full to you, and never grow 
tired. I forget you are gone, and look every day down 
the refectory for you, as I used to do when you were 
here, but then I see another girl occupying your place. 
We all go in to see mother every day, and to say some- 
thing of you, as we all love to talk of you to dear mother. 
Give my love to Hammy, and C. and A. Nelson. We are 
in the music-room writing, Hammy 's children at one side 
of the table, and yours at the other. Tell Hammy, Josephine 
would write to her, but is sick in the infirmary, and can 
not. I know my dearest mother will excuse my bad 
writing, as Sister Margaret wants the table to make bills 
out on. I believe this is locust year, for the mountain 
is covered with them. The locust-trees are all in blos- 
som, and smell delightfully. I am afraid you will be 
tired reading this, as it is so long and foolish. I love 
you, as I always did, with all my heart, and I hope you 
love me a little more than a halfpenny. One of the 
girls said she would take my place in being your child, 
and made me very angry, but I won't tell her name, it 
would be detraction ; but you don't love her very much. I 
hope you will soon be well enough to write to us. Pre- 
cious mother, I love you ten thousand times better, if it 
were possible, than when you were here. Indeed, I can 
not tell you how much, but I can feel it. I liked to have 
been punished for going in the infirmary without leave,, 
when I went up-stairs, but ignorance of the rule excused 
me. My own dearest mother, I must conclude ; indeed, I 



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am very sorry for it Your affectionate, loving, and I 
wish I could say loved daughter, 

Biddy. 

TO THE SAME. 1 

St. Joseph's Valley, June 6th. 
My Own Mother, — I am now writing to you on your 
little desk, where you wrote last on in mother's room, and 
Jane and Maria are doing the same on the other side of 
the room. Eliza is gone to the mountain, or she would 
be very glad to write to her dearest mother, I know. Our 
garden comes on very pretty, only the weeds are so impu- 
dent that they will intrude, and Jane and we have got 
enough to do to pull them up and root them out. I hope, 
' my dear mother Kitty never gets in the vapors when she 
thinks of being so far away from her own mother, as she 
is very well, and vapors are bad things to be sure. There 
is a great number of little bugs come on our rose-bush, 
particularly on the buds which are almost blown ; but I 
hope they will have the manners to wait till you come 
back for us to have the pleasure of seeing you pull them. 
I thought Maria would compose a second Jierimias La- 
mentation. I made a mistake in spelling Jeremias, but 
no matter, for I know you will excuse my bad writing 
and spelling, because my love is not placed in either, but 
in my dear little mother. I believe we are going to sing 
this afternoon, as it is Sunday, behind the Calvary in St 
Joseph's garden. My dearest mother, indeed I wish I had 

1 The school and Sisterhood were at this period in a very flourishing condition. 
Elizabeth, writing to a friend a few months earner (December, 1816), says they have 
at St Joseph's, " sixty and more boarders, besides the country children, and treble 
the Sisters we had when you were here." 



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nothing to do all day long but write to you, for I could 
fill up a book in writing to you. I feel so lonesome since 
you have gone away, that I hardly know what to do with 
myself, if Jane did not cheer me up by telling me there 
are but three weeks and one day left for your return. We 
count every day you are away ; it seems to us like an age. 
As I know my sweetest little mother will like to hear who 
received the medals, I must tell her. C. Clary (?) was to 
receive that of merit, and E. Pilch that of queen, but 
Josephine McDonnell happening to say that Sister Jane 
asked the Sisters to vote for Pilch, no medals were given. 
A great pity, to be sure. Don't forget your promise of 
writing to your children, we are so impatient to hear from 
you. Last Monday we proposed to make an excursion to 
the top of the mountain and take a survey of the country ; 
accordingly we set out, and finding many blackberries on 
the way, we stopped to pick some. On a sudden, some of 
the girls began to scream out (you know they are apt 
enough to do that) that there was a snake around J. Fen- 
nell's leg. Sister Jane immediately jumped over the fence 
and ran to her. She found poor Fennell almost frightened 
to death, and upon examination found that she was only 
stung by wasps or bees, who, thinking themselves insulted 
by her approaching too near their nest, resolved to re- 
venge themselves, and engaged the briers to help them by 
holding her fast We left Fennell at Mrs. Brawners, and 
proceeded on our travels. At length we arrived at the 
foot of the mountain, and soon began to climb up the rocks, 
but we met a snake on the way, to the no small terror of 
us all, particularly M. Stiegers, who, you know", is very 
nervous. However, we went on a good deal longer, till we 
thought we might chance to lose our supper, which we 



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were not willing to do ; we, therefore, sat down awhile on 
the rocks, and gathered a few berries, and then began 
to return home by another way. We had to run all the 
way down, and at last met with a road which we took, 
but as it happened a wrong one. After following it for 
some time, we found ourselves stopped by a swamp. We 
turned, crossed the fence, and got into a field. From one 
field we went into another ; in some the grass was very 
deep ; some of us were making the sign of the cross every 
step we took. At length, after wandering about a good 
deal, we met with the right road, and had to go half a mile 
back for Fennell, then arrived safe home and went straight 
to supper. We went to a field a great ways past ' Uncle' 1 
Esau's last Saturday, for Skid got holiday for us to gather 
strawberries. We got a few, and when we came home 
supper was over, so we had a second table. Indeed, my 
dear mother, though I do not get into trouble so often as 
I used to, yet I have a share of it. One of the girls said 
that you did not love me, and that a great deal of love 
was lost on my side. It put me in the glooms, though 
she only said it to make me cry, but I would not before 
her, to give her that satisfaction ; and another said she 
would ask you to let her be your child in my place, but I 
will not mind any of them, but always love you sincerely, 
whether you do me or not. Oh, my dear mother, if you 
only knew how much I love you. I could kiss the desk 
I write on a hundred times over and over. I had the 
happiness of going to communion on Corpus Christi, and 
then I begged our dear Lord, when I had Him in my 
breast, to let me die on the same day with my dear 

1 An ancient African. 



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256 MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 

J 

mother Kitty, so I might be good enough, and both of us 
prepared to go to heaven. My dearest mother, I must 
conclude, as the bell is ringing. 

Your affectionate and loving 

Biddy. 

Write soon. 

In the year 1817 the third colony of Sisters of Char- 
ity went out from St. Joseph's. The place to which they 
were sent was the largest field for Christian usefulness in 
the United States, the city of New York. A gentleman 
writes to Mrs. Seton from thence : " The good Sisters got 
here on the 28th (June) fatigued by the journey, partic- 
ularly Sister Cecilia, who was much indisposed;" and 
on the 24th of August following, Elizabeth says, in a letter 
to her Protestant friend, Mrs. Sadler : u Will you tell our 
dearest Duplex for me, that the Sister Cecilia, who has 
been these eight years what she herself would have wished 
to have been in our sick-room and death-bed scenes, is 
with Sister Rose? I hope she will see them as soon 
as she can. Perhaps you, too, dearest Eliza, would 
call with her a moment, as they themselves can not call 
on you. You may suppose what both are to my heart 
after so many years, and cares, and pains, and comforts 
together." 

William Seton returned to the United States after 
receiving his mother's answer to the letters in which he 
pointed out his dislike to the sort of life he was living, 
and a kind friend at Washington at once obtained for 



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him a midshipman's warrant in the navy. 1 In the spring 
of 1818 he was ordered to report for duty on board the 
Independence, 74, then lying in Boston Harbor. Eliza- 
beth's letters to him reveal her inmost heart and the 
beauty of a mother's love for a son exposed more to spir- 
itual harm than to the dangers of a hard profession. 
Her tenderness recalls, in some degree, the extraordinary 
affection of Monica for Augustine, and like this blessed 
woman, model of Christian mothers, she put her hope in 
prayer. Writing to a friend of her son's departure, she 
says with sentiments of the most religious trust in Heav- 
en : " This world of separations must have its course, 
and we must take its good and evil quietly as it passes. 
For my part, I am now so accustomed to look only to our 
God in all that happens, that it seems to me the most 
painful things in the order of His Providence can but 
increase our confidence and peace in Him, since all will 
draw us nearer to Himself, if only we kiss His hand as 
that of the best of Fathers." 

1 Somo friend procured him a lieutenancy in the army even before he went to 
Italy, but through the most honorable sentiments of respect to his mother's wishes, 
who thought a military life might lead him astray from the practice of the duties of 
his religion, ho gave up his own natural aspirations to set himself deliberately into 
a hateful position at Leghorn. In February, 1818, he was again offered a second 
lieutenancy (in the First TJ. S. Infantry), with orders, if the appointment should be 
accepted, to report to Gen. Ripley, at Pittsburg. In a letter to his mother about 
it, he writes : " I would not give up my warrant for a captaincy in the army ; I 
would have no objection to the order, however," with allusion to the active duties a 
soldier might expect out West 
vol. II. — 17. 



t 



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ELIZABETH TO WILLIAM. 



Monday, February l&th. 1818. 
My Soul's Darling, — You go, so adieu again. With 
how much more courage I say it now than in 1815 ! You 
must fill a station and take a part in our life of trial, and 
all your mother can beg is that you may keep well with 
your good Pilot; as Burns says : The correspondence fixed 
with Ueaven will be your noble anchor. To go when you 
can to the sacraments, as a child to his father, will be a 
main point for that. You and I are too soft-hearted about 
our friendships and condescension to circumstances of the 
moment. Mind well the consequences, my beloved; in 
your situation they will go very far — but we have talked 
that over. Mind your health ; be prudent in exposing it 
when you can not say duty is in question. 

2oth. 

Now, my love, I must hope that you are safe in your 
berth. Your little ship left behind has had cloudy weather, 
and dragged scarce three knots an hour. Good Madam 
Reason argues and insists, shows so plainly our order of 
duty, that we must separate ; yet, with all that she can 
say, I miss you to such a degree that it seems my own self 
remains but as a poor shadow, and its dearest part is gone. 
My best comfort is to be continually begging our God to 
bless you, and to be guessing and supposing where you 
may be. Your first letter is so longed for. You know 
there is no news here ; those who were sick are better ; 
every one speaking of you, the strain a mother loves. 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



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Another most kind letter from Mr. Harper. Little White 
came to see me the other day, and told me that there was 
a little boy at the Mountain who said, now William Seton 
was gone he could never have any more pleasure, for he 
loved him better than any one in the world. I shall have 
him to see me, you may depend, as soon as the roads can 
be passed (they are deep, indeed). Write me if you see 
the good Bishop of Boston. 

Unite your dearest heart well with mine every morning 
at least. This I earnestly beg : you don't know how 
much it will help in some of the peculiarities of your sit- 
uation. Oh, my William, you know all I would say. 
Dearest child of my soul, mind we must be one day where 
we will part no more. 

WILLIAM TO ELIZABETH. 

Independence, Friday, Feb. 21th, 1818. 
My Dear Mamma, — I arrived here three days ago, after 
traveling night and day. The day before yesterday I 
reported myself to the commodore, and obtained permis- 
sion to remain on shore for that evening. The next morn- 
ing I reported to the fighting Captain Downs, and obtained 
permission to remain a day longer. To-day I have re- 
ported to our First Lieutenant Rose for duty. My intro- 
duction was rather unpleasant, for I was ushered into a 
court-martial sitting on a brother midshipman for disobe- 
dience of orders. At New York I heard of Uncle Wilkes's 
death. Charles is a midshipman in our ship. The com- 
modore received me very kindly, also Mr. Sullivan, and 
Bishop Cheverus with the heart of a brother, or rather of 
a father. He desired me to tell you that Mrs. Wally had 



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quite recovered of the fever, and also her daughter, who 
had been attacked bv the same disorder. He asked me 
to remember him affectionately to you. Commodore Bain- 
bridge said that he had known Grandpapa Seton and papa 
intimately. He is a fine man. I am so anxious to know 
what I have to do, that my head is quite confused. The 
post goes every day, so that I shall never want opportuni- 
ties to write. For the present I conclude, as we are only 
allowed three candles and a half per week. We are twen- 
ty-two midshipmen on board, many of 1818. Remember 
me affectionately to Mr. Dubois, Mr. Brute, Mr. Hickey, 
and all whom you know I love. Don't forget the boys, 
Charles, etc. 

TO THE SAME. 

Boston Harbor, March ith, 1818. 
My Dearest Mother, — Again I attempt to write you 
from this noisy house. Indeed it is a very difficult thing 
to find a fit moment, surrounded by twenty-four midship- 
men, each endeavoring to say, sing, and do what he can in 
order to beguile the tedious hours, for we are to all intents 
and purposes imprisoned about three hundred yards from 
the shore, which I have not visited since my arrival* 
Next Sunday, however, I hope to revisit our dear Bishop 
Cheverus, whose truly affectionate and tender kindness I 
shall ever gratefully feel. I forgot to tell you in my last 
that in passing through New York I could not see Sister 
Rose, she being out when I called ; Sister Cecilia, how- 
ever, and some of their little family, 1 I saw If I 

1 The orphans at the asylum in Prince Street 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



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could judge by myself, no earthly pleasure should take 
me from you: but our cases are widely different. At 
times my feelings so far overcome me that I can not re- 
strain the outward expression of them ; happily for me, 
our apartment is so dark that we can not see without can- 
dles at midday. Our duty is very easy. The drums beat 
up hammocks at half-past seven o'clock, and to quarters at 
nine. During the day we have our different watches : 
sometimes two, sometimes four hours. At night the same ; 
but as there are many of us, we only keep a regular watch 
every third night ; but we may be turned out at any hour, 
night or morning, to go ashore, and then must not leave 
the boats on any account. Last night was my second 
night watch ; I kept from twelve to two. 

ELIZABETH TO WILLIAM. 
* 

March, 1818. 

My Own Dear Love, — I have just received your third 
letter, and finding mine has not yet reached you, it strikes 
me to inclose this to Bishop Cheverus, as I write him on a 
little business. 

I never was so overpowered as by this sad parting. 
Reasoning is in vain. I look up a hundred times at the 
dear crucifix and resign ; but too often with such agony 
of heart, that nothing stops it but the fear that it will break 
before you return, or that my death will make you un- 
happy. But this will not strengthen you whom I wish to 
strengthen. I should say : My son, go on as you have 
begun ; our love will not settle you in life, will not give 
you an independence. Your mother ought to say many 



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things, but can say nothing. Look up to the pure heavens 
in your night watch, my soul's beloved, and you will hear 
what that soul would say to you, what our dear ones gone 
would say, too. That watch is more in my mind at 
night than sleep, could you know the blessings invoked on 
you. But it is too great an indulgence to say so much of 
my poor heart, dearest one. 

Aunt Post writes a loving letter about you. Such 
earnest requests, too, for dear Kit; but the robbing of 
the mail and treatment of the passengers last week makes 
me dread her going. Yet she will go, if Mrs. Scott goes, 
as was proposed. I wrote you, I fear, by the very mail 
which was lost, inclosing a very pleasing letter from our 
Richard, and telling you of Mr. Filicchi's good disposition 
towards him. Barry writes me he expects letters from 
Leghorn every day, so we will hear further. Mr. Harper 1 
also writes the kindest letter, inclosing one from your 
commodore, with every fair promise for you, my beloved, 
speaking of his friendship, too, for your father. Oh, the 
goodness of our God in every thing ! 

1 In one of her late letters Elizabeth mentions to a friend the uniform courtesy 
towards her of this illustrious Catholic, Mr. Robert G. Harper, and his delicate kind- 
ness to her only surviving daughter. When Mrs. Seton first arrived in Baltimore, in 
1808, Mr. Harper called upon her and offered his services in any manner they might 
be useful. Ho then introduced his family, and when St. Joseph's was founded, 
proved by words and actions his interest in the institution, and sent his daughters 
there to be educated. It was very probably through him that the distinguished 
convert, Judge Gaston, of North Carolina, became acquainted with the establishment, 
and placed his daughters in it. Elizabeth speaks in a letter of the judge's zeal in 
making the house known in the South, and the high opinion he entertained of it, 
which she, however, modestly thinks to be above its merits. 



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Easter-Tuesday Morning. 

The boys at the Mountain in retreat till to-morrow, 
their first communion. I have had your heart in mine so 
close in the many I have made these dear festivals. A 
letter from Sister Rose mentioned you were in church with 
Duplex the Sunday after you left me, so I had the sweet 
comfort to know that you enjoyed a moment longer in 
New York than you expected. 

Heavy rains these past nights gave the strongest 
thoughts of the impossibility of your constitution resisting 
these night-watches, soaked through, perhaps. I repeat, 
however, 6i God is my hope," and to Him I incessantly 
commit you. Let the world go round, if only my William 
is happy, and remembers me in all his dangers, since he can 
not think of me but the first wish of my soul be remem- 
bered too. Every good heart here would say something 
to you. Your name never mentioned but with love. Sis- 
ter Anastasia says, " Tell William I never forget the little 
prayer for him." Sister Martha says : " I am sure I re- 
member him at my prayers as if he was my own brother." 
So we make a wall around you, my darling. Bless, bless 
you a thousand times. 

WILLIAM TO HIS MOTHER. 

Boston Harbor, March 25th } 1818. 
Dearest Mother, — Just ashore on liberty. I received 
last Wednesday your first letter of the 10th of March, 
inclosing one from our Dick. I can not tell you with what 
pleasure I perused both ; joy to know he was safe arrived 
and pleased with his situation, and delight in the love of 



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my dearest one. Yet your gentle reproach was not unfelt ; 
could you for a moment doubt my affection because I did 
not write as I promised from every city ? You know my 
heart too well to think me indifferent. Could I ever be 
happy without your love ? No, my beloved mother, this 
world would be a desert without you. Let me know 
something more of our darling Kit when you write again, 
and do let that be soon. Every day, when the purser 
brings on board the letters, I almost devour them with my 
eyes to see if there may be one for me ; but alas, so often 
disappointed — one of your letters must have been lost 
when the mail was robbed. We have rigged our ship, but 
there is no prospect of getting to sea just now, except in 
one of the frigates. I have written to Washington to 
obtain a berth in any that goes. I have seen Uncle John's 
widow ; she is very kind, and invited me to come there 
whenever I am ashore. Our good bishop and Charles 
Wilkes desire to be affectionately remembered to you. 
Remember me to Mr. Dubois and all at the Mountain ; also 
to those around you, for you know I sincerely love all that 
love my mother. 

ELIZABETH TO WILLIAM. 



Friday, April &th, 1818. 
My Dear Beloved, — Now do tell me what a mother 
can say to so bad a child. You love me, but not one 
word will you ever say about my idol — yourself. Oh, my, 
I never can put it into you, so it is in vain to plague you 
about it. I may go on quietly gazing at the clouds, where 
I can learn as much about your daily pains and pleasures, 



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wants and comforts, as by your letters, which yet are so 
extravagantly dear to me that I carry them on my heart, 
read and read, weep and weep plentifully over them, be 
assured. I often ask — but what is this dear rover to me 
so much more than all the world ? Why do the heart- 
strings all wind round him so ? That I can not tell ; let 
it pass, for it depends not on me. You seem, indeed, my 
"William, to be more present to me than my own soul, and 
yours and its dear futurities are truly its very passion. 
Only think, our dear little Mary Harper received the last 
sacraments in January. Louisa writes me she was then 
like an angel, and no doubt she is one now. Her poor 
father, Mrs. McTavish writes me from Baltimore, is weighed 
down with sorrow, which I deeply share with him ; but 
how much deeper with the parents of those two precious 
souls 1 belonging to the Adams, going, indeed, uncalled to 
their God. I tell you, my son, if you do so, you will also 
strike me dead. The very possibility that it may happen 
is an insupportable thought. The thousand dangers you 
are in seem all small compared with that one. I charge 
you to beg our God daily to keep you from it. Put your- 
self a moment in my place, who must look so far beyond 
the present scene, since the present scene can be but pain- 
ful separation — that separation so unavoidable for this 
world, even if it should be ever again sweetened by a mo- 
mentary meeting. My dear one, pity my anxiety, I can 
no more hinder it than I can stop my desires for our eter- 
nal reunion. 

1 Midshipmen killed outright in a duel. 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 



Saturday > &th. 

I do not know if you hear of your Andreuze ; from a 
word I heard dropped, he is not very well contented ; but, 
as you say, he loves traveling. If I were a man, all the 
world should not stop me, I would go straight in XavierV 
footsteps, the waters of the abyss and the expanded sky- 
should be well explored. But I must wait for liberty — 
must wait, as dear Bee used to say, until I get higher 
than seas or skies. 

Soon as I know you are gone I shall put up my map 
of Boston, and care no more to look at its harbor now so 
dear, and always before my little table where I write. 
Remember my favorite Xavier's prayer when you are in 
the raging tempest : " Compassionate Lover of souls, save 
me," and never omit your Ave Maris Stella: — 

Star of the vast and howling main, 

When dark and lone is all the sky, 
And mountain waves o'er ocean's plain 

Erect their stormy heads on high, 
When mothers for their darlings sigh, 

They raise their weeping eyes to thee : 
The Star of Ocean heeds their cry 

And saves the foundering bark at sea. 

In the month of June a nephew of Elizabeth came 
from New York to see her, and met with an accident in 
getting out of the carriage at the Sisterhood, by which he 
sprained an ankle. Word was at once sent to the Mount- 
ain, and Mr. Brute (who had been there since February) 
went himself to St. Joseph's and brought the sufferer to 

1 She had a very particular devotion to this great servant of God, whom she 
calls in one of her early letters, after becoming a Catholic, her favorik saint 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 267 

the college, where he received every kind attention that 
could be offered, and when he left, Mr. Brut6 even accom- 
panied him part of the way on his journey. The fol- 
lowing paper explains itself. No other relative of Mrs. 
Seton found such a signal and truly providential op- 
portunity of knowing the right faith. He rejected it, 
" Like the deaf asp that stoppeth her ears, which will not 
hear the voice of the charmers ; nor of the wizard that 
charmeth wisely." — (Ps. lvii. 5-6.) 1 

THE REV. MR. BRUTE TO L P * 



My Dear Sir, — It is too painful for a true heart to 
remain entirely shut up, hiding even his best thoughts 
from you. I love you sincerely, since I respect so much 
your good aunt here; and have received so much of the 
most affecting kindness, believe me, when I passed through 
your city, with little indeed to recommend me to it. 

Now, then, you know that we are so attached to our 
happy Catholic faith, that it would rather appear strange 
to you if I said nothing at all to our good visitor. Yet to 
say any thing whilst under our roof, except some circum- 
stance or desire of yours had called for it, would have 
seemed to trouble the charms of your kind trust of your- 
self to the poor priests ; but this I will put in your hands 
in our way to Gettysburg, that you may know how truly 
we feel interested for you in that first line of all — that of 
your spiritual happiness. 

1 The young man died a year or two after — I believe very suddenly. 
* Original in English. 



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My dear sir, that our Lord wished grace, truth, and 
blessing for us in religion is my own delightful impression 
so from my infancy, as I hope you from your own dear 

M. P } I try every means to enjoy religion above all, 

and we have really such particular comfort in our way, 
that my continual thought of affection and of gratitude, 
when kindness is shown to me, is : " Could I only make 
them sensible of the same ! " I have sometimes heard 
then a Protestant friend tell me : " Yes, truly, you must 
be happy to believe so." See that we have not to doubt, 
and remain uncertain about such precious graces as I see 
so very much doubted of by some societies among our 
brethren, whilst, to be sure, others still think much of 
them : for example, baptism itself, or a Last Supper, strikes 
me. That we, like you, still do reverence our bishops as 
the true successors of the firsttones appointed by our Lord, 
but we do, indeed, with faith itself; when, unhappily, private 
judgment, left alone, misleads the Presbyterians, for ex- 
ample, to deny that most excellent and beautiful order of 
things, and misleads the good Quakers still further from 
the genuine notions of that divine institution of an author- 
ized church and ministry, without which Christianity itself 
— the gift of God to our earth — would have long ago been 
dissipated. This strikes me. Your line of bishops and 
their particular doctrine, since the unhappy separation of 
the sixteenth century, and our old line with other doctrines 
so particular and so important, stand together in my eyes ; 
but how can I adhere to both together? The old one 
traced up so strictly to the former times, and acknowl- 
edging with great fidelity and simplicity that it has re- 

1 His mother. When Mr. Brute and William were going to Europe, in 1815 
she was very kind to them. 



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ceived promises of infallibility and unalterable preservation 
of the true sacraments and institutions of our Lord, whilst 
the English line was obliged in the very separation to 
renounce that only secure principle, and remain on a level 
of respective and equal fallibility with all the other 
branches of Protestantism, even the remotest from the 
better grounds you still maintain. This does strike me so 
much. Alas ! my dearest sir, how painful it must be to 
so sincere a friend of Christ, so humble a disciple of His, 
to be provoked by the last ranks of Unitarianism when 
they disgrace His divine character, to have Him but a man 
and common prophet ; how painful, I say, that they can 
say : " Why ! is your private judgment any way more 
certain of the sense of Scripture and its literal meaning 
about the Divinity of Christ than, for example, about His 
real presence in the sacrament ? You are exactly as falli- 
ble as we are, and if you think the Unitarians in an error 
not to believe Christ their Lord, so exactly can they think 
you are to believe He is. You acknowledge no divine 
mission of a church, no infallible promises for a certain 
teaching, you can then teach nothing more certain than we." 
So will say an Unitarian, and then he goes on turning into 
figures the literal expressions of the Divinity of Christ, etc., 
and calling other Protestants idolaters to worship the Man 
Jesus, as you formerly called the Catholics so for the 
Blessed Sacrament. 

Alas, alas, dearest sir, that it might be granted to 
your church to come back to its only secure ground, unity 
with our Catholic one, from which, would to our Lord, 
Henry VIII. had never separated it! and all mutual 
wrongs of private persons, which, whether kings or popes, 
ministers or priests, ought never (to) have injured the 



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church itself, faith itself, sacraments themselves, would be 
entirely forgotten, and still the unity so evidently made 
by our Lord the true ground be kept on. How soon would 
all the other wild sects which the Protestant principles 
have authorized, and will ever authorize, disappear, for 
our very French infidels have forcibly and logically demon- 
strated that to ruin Christianity they had really but the 
Catholics to contend with, all the others being self-de- 
stroyed for any consistent mind. This much to write is, 
may be, too much ; yet you have it only to reflect on 
privately and at prayer — prayer, my dear sir, all to obtain 
the true light. And you may have in the same time our 
most friendly assurance that if you favor (us) again with 
your kind visit, not a word, no, no more than this time, 
not a word will intrude here on your peace except your- 
self may be pleased with it, for to possess you has been 
our delight, as well as to visit so good, so respectable an 
aunt, so amiable a cousin will again be yours ; you promised 
it to us. No, dearest sir, not the least pain will be olfered 
you. Our secret prayer only will ever be sent for your 
happiness, and every thing done to show you the true 
affection you so well personally deserve. 

Yours so sincerely, S. Brute. 

ELIZABETH TO MR. BRUTE. 

Tour letter 1 to sister admirable, if first the big stone 
of darkest ignorance and indifference were removed on the 

1 " A letter to try to convert Mrs. Post, her sister, to the Catholic faith — how 
useless she thought it. Most curious." — (Note by Mr. Brute* himself in one corner 
of the letter.) 



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point of prime necessity, that there is any true Church or 
false Church, right faith or wrong faith. But neither you 
nor any one who has not been in that ignorance and indif- 
ference can imagine the size and depth of it ; and putting 
myself again a moment in the place of my sister (even 
with my great advantage of having been passionately at- 
tached to religion when a Protestant, which she is not), 
I imagine I read your letter, and looking up with vacant 
surprise, would say : " What does the man mean ? Says he 
that all who believe in our Lord are not safe ? or, if a poor 
Turk or savage does not believe, is he to be blamed for it ? 
They make God a merciful being, indeed, if He would con- 
demn souls of His own creation for their parents bringing 
them into the world on one side of it or the other." My 
brother Post once asked me so simply : " Sister Seton, 
they say you go to the Catholic Church, what is the dif- 
ference?" It is the first church, my brother, the old 
church the apostles began, answered poor trembling Eliza- 
beth Seton, always dreading to be pushed on a subject she 
could only feel, but never express to these cool reasoners. 
" Church of the Apostles ! " said my brother, " why is not 
every church from the apostles?" Sister Post interrupted : 
" Well, apostles or no apostles, let me be any thing in the 
world but a Roman Catholic — a Methodist, Quaker, any 
thing — a Quaker, indeed, I should like extremely, they 
are so nice and orderly, and their dress so becoming; 
but Catholics — dirty, filthy, ragged, the church a horrid 
place of spits and pushing, etc., etc.," and whispering to 
me as a mystery : " They say, my sister, there is a great 
picture there of our Saviour, all naked!' It is a fact that a 
most pious, better-informed woman than my sister or poor 
Elizabeth Seton, found me kneeling before my crucifixion, 



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and shrunk back with horror seeing a naked picture. 1 
That very lady, Mrs. Livingston, quitted the Protestant 
Church for the Methodist meeting, and I said to those 
who laughed at her, " Why not ? if she likes the Metho- 
dists ; " forever accustomed to look only to little exterior 
attractions, as the dress and quiet of the Quakers, an en- 
thusiastic preaching among the Methodists, or a music of 
low voices among Anabaptists, or any other such nonsense. 
The thought of a right faith or wrong faith, true church 
or false one, never enters the mind of one among a hun- 
dred. Oh, my God ! my heart trembles and faints before 
Him in His little sacristy close to His Tabernacle while I 
ask how am I here ? I taken, they left ! 

ELIZABETH TO WILLIAM. 

1st July, 1818. 
Mr. Dubois always begs so many remem- 
brances to you. A most interesting scene took place here 
last week. The Sulpitians of Baltimore (except Mr. Brut6) 
solicited of Mr. Dubois the suppression of the seminary, 
thinking he was getting rather in debt, and that the mas- 
ters he employed would be more useful in Baltimore, and 
lo ! our good Emmitsburghers came forward, olfered Mr. 
Dubois eight or ten thousand dollars in hand, and to buy 
the seminary for him, if he chose, only not to leave them. 
The archbishop, seeing how hard it would go, has directed 
all to be left as it was before. So much for the good 
" country peeps," as Mr. Duhamel 2 calls them. 

1 This was before she became a Catholic. 

a The Rev. Charles Duhamel was a French missionary, and having only an im 
perfect pronunciation of English, used to say country peeps for country people. 



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21st. 

My Own Beloved, — How I do long to hear from you. 
Sometimes I think perhaps good Mr. Brent succeeded and 
sent you an exchange as you wished, and you may even 
be gone in your Guerriere or some other warrior ; at others 
I feel the whole weight of the thought that you are still 
between decks in harbor this hot weather. We have no 
news of the good Harpers, 1 which I am sorry for, because 
we have many reasons to be interested in them as our 
truly best friends. Mr. Fox is here, and says some gen- 
tleman arrived in the Washington told him that he saw 
Richard, and he is very well. Sister Rose is here, too, 
taking Charles to Baltimore College. He will be happy 
there, I hope. Dearest, dear William, I could fill all my 
paper with that so unavailing repetition. Good and dear 
son and child of my heart, be comforted. You never gave 
a pain to that heart but the pain of parting and separation. 

WILLIAM TO HIS MOTHER. 

U. S. S. "Macedonian," Boston Harbor, 

July 21st, 1818. 
My Beloved Mother, — Your letter of the 10th instant 
came the day after Mr. Barry's, and I am happy to tell 
you that I received my orders to the Macedonian frigate 
almost at the same moment your dear letter was handed 
me. My desire has been so great to get to sea that you 
can't wonder at my being rather elated at the prospect of 
so fine a voyage ^ The ship will go round Cape 

1 They were in Europe. 

vol. n. — 18 



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Horn into the Pacific as high up as Columbia River, and 
higher if the captain chooses, but so far she is ordered. 
We will cruise in the Pacific two years, visiting all the 
important cities on the western coast of North and South 
America, together with the islands visited by Captain Por- 
ter, where we will see savage life in its true state. It 
will be, in fact, one of the most interesting voyages ever 

made from this country I long to hear that you 

have perfectly recovered from your late illness ; if not, do, 
dearest mother, let me know it, and I will use every en- 
deavor to come to you. It would be a great satisfaction 
to me, indeed, to pass a little time with you before so long 
a voyage. The ship will not sail before the last of Sep- 
tember or the beginning of October, in order to meet the 
season for doubling the Cape ; some say she will not sail 
till November. Charles Wilkes and several of my friends 
from the Independence have just been ordered to the Guer- 
riere, which is expected to sail to-morrow, and several 
others to this ship. I am quite comfortable here, living 
in the wardroom of the Java until our ship is ready to 
receive us. If Andreuze returns, remember me affection- 
ately to him, and also to all my friends, particularly to Mr. 
Dubois, Mr. Brute, Michael Egan, 1 etc. 



ELIZABETH TO WILLIAM. 

1st August, 1818. 
My Soul's Darling, — Here your so long desired letter 
dated from your Macedonian is just arrived. You must 

1 Later a holy priest. He was nephew to the first bishop of Pliiladelphia. 



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not think of coming, my beloved, even if your voyage is 
delayed to October or November. One only thing I can 
not stand in this world, that is taking leave of you. The 
little while, too, you could stay ; the fear of its being 
noticed that you were absent 1 the very moment you might 
be wanting. We must be firm. This world, it is certain, 
is not the place you and I are to enjoy our love in. Don't 
be uneasy about my health ; at my time of life nothing 
can be more uncertain. The sickness I had (inflammation 
of the lungs) leaves a long weakness ; but there is nothing 
alarming, my love, I assure you, as to immediate conse- 
quence. I may live to welcome your joyful, happy return 
from many a cruise. Andreuze is not yet here, but com- 
ing. Doyle is at the Mount, but I have not seen him ; 
only good little Michael 2 comes for mass-serving, and loves 
you so that his eyes glistened with tears when I showed 
him your remembrance of him. 

In my "shady retreat" (the little willow grows so 
handsomely) how I sigh for you : above, where, happily, 
sighs go not in vain. We will see : all our hope is there. 
I seldom say a word to you of how everybody remembers 
and regrets you, and some unite their hearts with mine to 
love you as true sisters. We have letters, also, with 
affectionate inquiries about you from all that love us. 
Mr. Dubois never wearies speaking of you. His health 
is restored. My own William, remember how I love you. 

1 Even by permission. j Egan. 



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WILLIAM TO HIS MOTHER. 

Boston, August 29*A, 1818. 

My Dearest Mother, — I should have writ- 
ten sooner, but we have had a very busy time of it fitting 
out ship. Now we have hauled her out into the stream 
and are almost ready for sea, wanting only our powder 
(of which we take one hundred and sixty barrels) and 
some small articles which we take on board in the course 
of next week, when we shall drop down near the light and 
wait for sailing orders, which the officers think we shall 
receive in two or three weeks. The Macedonian is a most 
beautiful frigate, pierced for fifty (carrying forty-eight) 
guns; more completely and handsomely fitted out than 
any ship that ever sailed from this or perhaps any other 
country. She has thirty midshipmen and eight lieuten- 
ants, all clever fellows ; our captain, 1 a fine man, the same 
who was first-lieutenant of Captain Porter in the cruise of 
the Essex. Oh, my beloved mother, if God spares me to 
see you after my cruise, what a happy moment I antici- 
pate ! But, alas ! it is so far off, and to think that I leave 
you unwell will cause me to quit port with a heavy heart ; 
but He who directs all will bring this voyage to a happy 
end, and me to your dear arms. Tell Kitty to write me a 
long letter before I go, it will be such a time before I shall 
hear from you after we sail. Bishop Cheverus, I suppose, 
has written you ; at least he said he would the last time 
I saw him. Doctor Matignon is dying. 

1 John Downs, one of the heroes of our gallant navy. 



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ELIZABETH TO WILLIAM. 



Sth Sept., 1818. 

My Soul's William, — After waiting so long and send- 
ing so often in vain for your dear August letter, here it is 
on the doating heart of your own mother, and by the 
uncertainty you were in what time you might sail I hasten 
this, thinking our good angel will not let it be lost. Oh, 
my William, now indeed is my true courage called for to 
see things as they are. Three years, three years — yet I 
protest to you that I could give you up to duty with a 
free heart, if the way was but clear for our dear futurity ; 
but oh, who but our God can know my anguish at the 
thought of resigning you there also, and the thousand, 
thousand fears that we meet no more, because you well 
know that our meeting again has decided conditions which, 
in your situation, it is next to impossible to fulfill. We 
are ready enough to be led away when tnere is every 
help and support to keep us right, but when tyranny of 
custom, example, and every outward circumstance helps 
our own passions within, what becomes of the beloved 
soul ? I have now, fixed at the foot of my bed, the cru- 
cifix which used to be at the Mountain — the one you said 
you would willingly carry to me even from that distance, 
if only I might see it. You understand well the thousand 
thoughts it brings. My soul's William! how strange to 
be man, and God but a secondary consideration, or no 
thought at all; to be a few years beating through this 
world after shadows, then enter an eternity of existence 
quite unprepared, though to prepare for it is the only end 



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of our being here below. You know, beloved, I seldom 
say much of these things ; but it would be concealing the 
sharp arrow in your own mother's soul from yours, into 
which I would wish to pour every thought of my heart. 
Long letters from Richard — all very cheerful. Kit is the 
very picture of health and cheerfulness. Do not be uneasy 
for her, my dear one. Mrs. Scott's affectionate letters to 
her would be a comfort to you in your anxiety about the 

poor darling At the end of the letter my heart 

would break out again; but it must not, will not give 
one pain to yours it can ever avoid. I know I should 
strengthen yours; but, my beloved, how little you can 
know what it cost me to part with you. Every thing else 
in this world has its place in my affections in measure, but 
my love for you has no bound or measure, and can never 
be satisfied but in our eternity. Oh ! hear, then, the cry of a 
mother's soul, my beloved, and take care of what is dearer 
to her a thousand, thousand times than herself. 

WILLIAM TO HIS MOTHER. 

U. S. Ship " Macedonian," Boston, 

Sept. mh, 1818. 
My Dearest Mother, — I received yesterday your dear 
letter just as the ship was preparing to get under w T ay ; 
all hands called to send up top-gallant yards, and unmoor 
ship, a stiff breeze blowing. Before night I must bid adieu 
to the United States. I think the most proper place to 
direct your letters will be to Valparaiso, in the province 
of Chili. 

My beloved mother, could you see my heart you would 
find nothing but your dear self and those beloved beings 



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who center in you. My heart is full, but I must endeavor 
not to let disheartening thoughts intrude at such a mo- 
ment. I must be on deck at my station directly, so I can 
say no more. May God bless you, and grant we may 
meet again. I will write by every opportunity. The pilot 
takes this. Adieu. Your own 

William. 

to the same. 

Valparaiso, March 13/A, 1819. 
My Dearest Mother, — I wrote you on our arrival here 
by an English brig bound to Rio Janiero, since which no 
opportunity has occurred. This goes by a Nantucket 
whaleman. God speed his passage, bring him safe home 
to his wife and little children, and this letter to my be- 
loved mother. How much I envy the captain his prospect 
of a speedy return home ! I do assure you that night and 
day my thoughts are constantly with you and my dear 
Kit. Sometimes in my nightrwatch I imagine the Mace- 
donian safely arrived in the United States, and welcomed 
into Boston by the thundering guns of the old Independ- 
ence. No delay, from Boston I post it to New York, shake 
hands w T ith our friends there, then on to Philadelphia. 
Here I debate a moment whether to go by steamboat to 
Baltimore or take the stage through Lancaster to Gettys- 
burg. The latter route is ever dear to me in my remem- 
brance, having traveled it in such sweet company. At 
Gettysburg I take a private conveyance and arrive with a 
beating heart in Emmitsburg — then to St. Joseph's. The 
scene there may be felt, not described. Afterwards comes 
the meeting my dear companions at the Mountain: my 



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friends Mr. Dubois, Mr. Brute, Andreuze, Egan, etc., all 
are remembered and loved. Thus I pass many a tedious 
watch, or rather watches which would be otherwise tedious 
without these pleasing thoughts, glide away almost imper- 
ceptibly, and I rejoice to find myself four hours nearer to 
my happiness. Oh ! my dearest mother, may God yet 
grant us the blessing to meet again and find you well. 
Don't be tired of life before I can see you once more ; recol- 
lect the cruise will be half over by the time you receive this. 
I have been on shore very little since our arrival, and we 
are now about to sail again in a few days. It is said that 
we only wait the return of Judge Prevost, of New York, 
an American commissioner in these parts. He arrived 
here in the British frigate Andromache a few days ago, 
and went to the city of Santiago, about ninety miles from 
this place. We have passed our time here in scrubbing 
up the old ship and painting her. We exulted to find that 
the Andromache could not compare with us, either for neat- 
ness of rigging, decks, guns, etc., or beauty of model ; so 
that we bear the bell in this harbor, as I fancy we can 
anywhere else. We have also given two splendid balls, 
which were attended by all the fair of Valparaiso, and our 
consul and Lady Cochrane have given several to our 
officers on shore. Upon the whole, we have passed our 
time rather agreeably in Valparaiso. We now sail for 
Callao, the seaport of Lima. The midshipmen of the 
Andromache tell us that there the fogs are very heavy 
morning and evening, and the middle of the day almost 
insupportably hot, so that I'm inclined to wish myself 
there and off again. From there I believe we shall go to 
the Galapagos islands, directly under the equator, unin- 
habited except by wild fowl, both of the land and sea 



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species in immense numbers, together with seal, sea-lions, 
and other amphibious animals, also great numbers of land 
and sea turtle ; the land tortoise weighing, many of them, 
from three to four hundred pounds, and will carry a man 
on their backs without any apparent exertion. One of 
them we had in our ship, given to us by the captain of a 
whaler who arrived shortly after we did. The tortoise 
was small of its kind, but I have frequently seen our little 
midshipman riding him about the gun-deck without the 
creature altering its pace in the least. They are all black, 
with feet resembling an elephant's, and rather a hideous 
appearance, but afford such delicious eating that green 
turtle are not looked at when these are to be met with. 
At these islands we shall remain some time to strip ship 
and have a Complete overhaul of rigging, spars, etc., and 
to repair and refit every thing. They say that our going 
to Columbia River is now unnecessary, as Judge Prevost 
has already received possession of the settlement from the 
English for the United States. I forgot to tell you that 
we are going to California, but upon what business I can 
not exactly say. 'I hope to give you some day a full 
account of all our wanderings. I look forward to the end 
of this cruise with hope and anxiety ; hoping to find all 
well, yet anxious, very anxious for the health of my dear- 
est mother and sister. May God preserve you and grant 
us a happy meeting. As for myself, I have not known a 
moment's illness since I left you — thanks to Him who has 
protected me. I need not tell you to pray for me con- 
stantly. I often say a Hail Mary for you. When you 
write to Baltimore remember me to all our friends there, 
to Mr. Harper, Mr. Barry, the Chatards, and the rest who 
have been so kind to me. Don't forget to present my 



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respects to Sisters Sarah, Ellen, and Rosaline ; I can not 
now think of any one with indifference whom I have ever 
seen with you, those particularly whom I know you love. 
Remember me also to my friends at the Mountain if you 
have an opportunity — to Mr. Hickey, Doyle, G. Elder, 
E. Elder, Heyden, etc. I shall endeavor to write to 
Richard if I can by this occasion. I will begin a letter at 
any rate, if I have to finish it another time it will be the 
longer. Remember me most tenderly to him. 

TO THE SAME. 

TJ. S. S. " Macedonian," Valparaiso Bay, 
April 12th, 1819. 
My Dearest Mother, — I write you in haste by a ship 
bound to Rio Janeiro. We have made a short trip to 
Coquimbo in order to pass away time, and were very hos- 
pitably entertained by our consul and the inhabitants. 
The city lies about three degrees to the northward of Val- 
paraiso, and is pleasantly situated on a plain at the foot of 
the Andes, about a mile and a half from the sea-shore. 
The port, or place of anchorage, which consists of a battery 
of three or four pieces of cannon and five or six huts, is 
nine iniles from the city, and completely land-locked for 
small vessels, and affords excellent shelter. It is a pleas- 
ant ride from the port to the city, and the manner of riding 
still more pleasant, as the horses are always galloped. We 
entered into the custom w r ith spirit, you may depend, and 
put them to their speed the whole way to the city, where 
we had been invited by our consul to a ball, which was 
ttended by the governor and other distinguished persons 
of the place. The city is much handsomer than Valparaiso, 



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and contains many churches and convents, and one or two 
fine squares. In point of cultivation it forms an agree- 
able contrast to the barren hills of this place. We re- 
mained there but three days, when we bent our course 
again for Valparaiso, where we are still. It is said we 
wait here to know the event of Lord Cochrane's attack on 
Callao, our captain, from motives of delicacy, not wishing 
to be present at the time it is made. I have had an oppor- 
tunity of witnessing some of the extraordinary customs of 
the country in holy week. The day before yesterday 
being Maunday Thursday, all the Catholic ships in harbor 
wore their colors half-mast, and their yards a cock-bill or 
in a zigzag, careless position, expressive of mourning, and 
in the evening a stuffed effigy of Judas, with a sword by 
his side, was hung at the jib-boom ends. On Good Friday 
they amused themselves by keel-hauling, beating, shooting, 
ducking, and concluded at night by burning him. To-day, 
about ten o'clock, they squared yards, mast-headed their 
flags, and all fired salutes. To-morrow will be Easter. 
Oh, my beloved mother, what scenes does this happy day 
bring to mind ! But, alas, they are past. Heaven grant 
they may return ; we can only hope it. Do, my beloved 
mother, use every means to preserve your health and my 
dearest Kitty's. I know you will, it is only yourself I 
fear you may neglect ; you know how much my happiness 
depends upon it. God bless you, and our dear Kit and 
Richard — a thousand loves. Remember me affectionately 
to all. 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OP 



ELIZABETH TO WILLIAM. 



29*A September, 1819. 
My own William, — I have written you every way I 
could devise, — New York, Baltimore, Boston, etc. The 
most welcome of all letters from Valparaiso we received 
the middle of July, and we hardly dare hope for another 
yet. The one for Richard was forwarded immediately. 
Our last from him, in June, said much of you, his longing 
to hear from you, etc. Your own Kitty is quite well — 
returned from her summer excursion at the manor. 1 How 
we think of you, delight to speak of you, listen to every 
wind as if it might reach you; our thousand fears and 
hopes, all so inexpressible, and counting the days and 
weeks as they pass in view of that dearest one which will 
bring you again to us. Oh, my dearest William, will it, 
can it be that once more you will come to your little valley ? 
Every time the clock strikes, I so earnestly bless and call 
down blessings on you. This is but one word to go to the 
good, kind William Hickey, in Washington, to tell you we 
are well. He also wrote you the welcome word, and sent 
you papers, which, I trust, reached you. Oh, my love, dear 
love, love me, — you know how and by what proof. When 
you are passing Cape Horn again you may be sure my 
poor, wild mother's heart is always around, to shelter and 
cover with a mother's prayers — my only, only comfort, 
night and day, beloved. What could ever force me to live 
separated from you, but the One Adorable Will ? I would 

1 The country seat of the Carrolls. Mr. Harper bad married a daughter of the 
illustrious patriot Charles Carroll, of Oarrollton. 



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go the world over in any disguise, — hidden even from 
yourself, — to be only in the same vessel and share the 
same dangers with my William. Oh, my soul's dearest, 
deny me not the only meeting where we will never part. 
You know, well, it depends on yourself. The agony of 
my heart, as I carry your beloved name before the Taber- 
nacle, and repeat it in torrents of tears, which our God 
alone understands, is not for our present separation ; it is 
our long eternal years which press on it beyond all expres- 
sion. To lose you here a few years of so embittered a 
life, is but the common lot ; but to love as I love you, 
and lose you forever — oh, unutterable anguish. A whole 
eternity miserable, a whole eternity the enemy of God — 
and such a God as He is to us. 

TO THE SAME. 

20th March, 1820. 
My own loved William, — It can not be, I trust, that 
so many letters as your poor, faithful mother has written 
you should all be lost. Just now we have your dear one 
of January, which says you have not had a line from home 
since you left us, and that you had no prospects of return 
until next January. The two words, so painful, stupefied 
me, for my hopes had been different. Life is death, indeed, 
in this hard separation. What they call fortitude, I think 
I know something of in every case; but this one shakes 
my very soul ; and you well know why, my beloved : not 
for our momentary separation, hard as it is, but — . How 
I hold you wrapt in my inmost heart it is impossible to 
• describe, or give you the least idea of. Every sound of 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 



spring was a delight to me until your last letter ; but as 
it will not bring you, all seasons are alike, and winter, if 
you come, will be the welcome one. You say " Tell all 
that's going;" but from one month to the other, I can 
say we deviate scarcely half a degree in any thing. 

TO THE SAME. 1 



St. Joseph's, May 21th, 1820. 

My own Love, — Could I get a least idea if you have 
received any of our letters, I would know where to begin 
the little journal. My last was since the arrival of your 

young lieutenant. 2 All here goes quite nicely. 

Mr. Dubois, like a prince on his mountain : full school, 
debts paid, improvements in all directions. Egan still 
there. They are cutting the mountain in terraces, to 
bring the garden up to Mr. Duhamel's house. Our Saint 
Joseph goes on so well ; no building, though, this year. 
The long winter over, and a cheerful spring around us, — 
sweet roses, green fields ; Kit just come from a pleasant 
walk to the river, and the dear old tree by the falls, where 
you have cut our names. 

Your last received was dated January. No hope, then, 
of an earlier meeting than next winter. How sure we 
were, dear Kit and I, it would have been this spring; she 
would consent to go nowhere until your letter told us your 
delay. Oh, our talk and surmises, hopes and fears about 
you last winter, and the love and blessings poured on you 
from our doating hearts ! Yet I often please myself with 

1 The last letter he received. * Pereival. 



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the thought that whatever hardships you go through, you 
do not suffer as I do the sharpness of the pains of separa- 
tion. You find so many things to take your attention. It 
is too late, my beloved, not to doat on you with a tender- 
ness proportioned to your dangers and my fear of losing 
you forever, for you know that the long, long day to come 
is all I care for. How often am I up on your deck with 
you ! How often by your hammock ! Every fresh breeze, 
every calm, the sighing of the wind through the trees over 
our dear graves, the creaking of the willow at the back 
porch — sounds so like the noise of masts in a gale — all 
speak of you. Oh, my love, my love, how my heart and 
soul hang continually around you. May I but once more 
hold you in these poor arms ! Oh, may God bless you. 
My soul's darling, look up to the blue heavens and love 
Him. He is so good to us. Your own forever, 

E. A. Seton. 

REV. MR. SIBOURD TO ELIZABETH. 1 

Philadelphia, 3d February, 1819. 
You must not be astonished at my keeping so long 
the journal you sent me on the sufferings of your late dear 
Rebecca, which I perused most attentively, with uncom- 
mon emotion, shedding a flood of tears of joy, on reflect- 
ing on the courage and Christian resolution of that little 
angel, whom the depraved world we live in was not 
worthy to possess. If momentary sufferings give a right 
to an immense .amount of glory, what are we to think of 
her who suffered so long, and with such resignation? 

1 Original is in English. 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 



Indeed, I am ashamed of myself, when I consider I am 
at such a distance from her in my sufferings, that are but 
light, and of a very short continuance, when compared tc 
hers. 

I was full three months without going through any 
operation, and overjoyed at the prospect of returning soon 
to my usual occupations, at New Orleans ; but the day 
before yesterday my joy was checked, when Dr. Physick 
apprised me that he saw a new shooting of the polypus, 
and that I must submit to a new operation of it, and that 
a radical cure requires time and patience. God's will be 
done. What grieves me most is receiving letters from 
New Orleans, informing me that the American Catholics 
feel very much distressed at my long absence. I can tell 
you that I never complained of my sufferings, and that I 
never prayed to God for their discontinuance, knowing 
very well that my grievous sins deserve a thousand times 
more than what I suffer ; so that my prayer is : 0 God, 
act with me as Thou seest most conducive to Thy glory 
and my salvation. 

You need not, my dearest child, recommend your chil- 
dren to my prayers, which are due and paid, both to you 
and to them, either living or dead. Make yourself easy 
on the score of him who went round Cape Horn. Ask 
for the covering of grace, and he will be warm enough. 
I give my blessing and prayers to all who are dear to you, 
and be sure you have an affectionate father in 

Ls. Sibourd. 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



289 



BISHOP CHEVERUS TO ELIZABETH. 

December lVth, 1820. 

Ma BiEir CHijRE et viN^RABLE Sceur, — Though it be bet- 
ter to be absent from the body and to be with Christ, 
still I can not help rejoicing that you remain in the 
flesh, and that your dear soul has not left its prison. 

My dear Ursulines have prayed with me for yourself 
and your blessed family, and we are very grateful for 
your kind remembrance of us. 

If you are well enough, write me a few lines. My 
paternal regard to the dear Josephine. Have you any 
news from William and Richard ? 

To all your dear Sisters I beg to be most respectfully 
and affectionately remembered. 

You are every day with me before the Lord, and you 
know how much I love you, in the bowels of Jesus Christ 
Your brother and devoted servant, 

■j« John, Bishop of Boston. 

MR. HARPER TO THE REV. MR. DUBOIS, AT MT. ST. MARY'S. 

Baltimore, Sept. 30^, 1820. 

My Dear Sir, — Our accounts respecting Mrs. Seton 
are of a nature to give us great alarm on her subject. 
We know and feel how severe a loss she would be to 
all with whom she is in any manner connected, among 
whom, none, perhaps, except her daughter, will feel it 

1 Original in English except first line. 
vol. n.— 19 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 



more than we. It may be a consolation to be assured, on 
our part, that our feelings and views toward her daughter 
have undergone no change, except that the interest which 
we take in her is greatly strengthened since we have been 
more intimately acquainted with her. While we live she 
shall never want a protector and friend ; and we shall be 
richly repaid for any thing that we can do for her, by the 
pleasure and benefit her society and example will confer 
on our children. Be so good, my dear sir, as to commu- 
nicate this to her excellent mother, with the assurance of 
our most ardent wishes for her welfare and happiness. 

With the greatest respect, I am, dear sir, your most 
obedient servant, 

Robt. G. Harper. 1 

Elizabeth had been ailing since the month of Septem- 
ber, 1820, and in November, her malady, an abscess on 
the lungs, increased violently. She had made a religious 
retreat in July, and was prepared patiently and Chris- 
tianly to bear the sufferings that accompanied the passage 
from this life to that eternity which for years had been 
her meditation and the object of her intense dtsires. 
She was constantly attended during the fatal illness by 

1 I have given this letter out of a spirit of gratitude to so benevolent and distin- 
guished a gentleman, who received my aunt into his hospitable house as one of his 
own daughters after her mother's death. Mrs. Scott also offered her a home at the 
time, but Josephine (Catharine) preferred, agreeably to her dying parent's injunc- 
tions, the society and protection of a Catholic family. 

Robert Goodloe Harper was born near Fredericksburg, Va., in 1765. He served 
under General Greene " during the latter part of the Southern Revolutionary cam- 
paign," Btudied law at Princeton, was elected to the " National House of Represen- 
tatives" in 1794, and in 1815 was United States Senator from Maryland. Died — 
Integer vil<x scd erisqw pwus — Jan. 15th, 1825. 



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her only remaining daughter; but her sons she never 
saw in this world again. The Sisters of whom she was 
the venerated Mother assisted her with all the cares of 
charity and the most devoted affection, and the Rev. 
Superior of the Community was unremitting in the dis- 
charge of those sacred duties which ease and even sweeten 
to a Catholic soul the otherwise tremendous hour of 
death. 

On the 2d of January, 1821, Elizabeth Seton received 
the sacrament of extreme unction, but before anointing 
her Mr. Dubois exhorted the circumstant religious in her 
name, as she was too enfeebled to speak herself, that 
ever they should preserve " the strictest union and char- 
ity among themselves " and (i great fidelity to their rules." 
She then "raised her dying voice and said: 'Dear ones, 
pray for me when I am gone, for I shall want it. I thank 
God for having made me a child of His church : when 
you come to this hour you will know what it is to be a 
child of the church.' A good while after, she said : 
1 When I have done wrong, I sincerely repented of it' 
She also before requested the Reverend Superior to ask 
pardon in her name for the bad example she might have 
given in some little indulgences her great weakness re- 
quired during her sickness." 1 

She lingered two days more, and died in the peace of 

1 This account is taken from a paper, now lying before me, which was drawn up 
by one of the Sisters present at the last moments of her spiritual mother. It has 
been in Mr. Brute's possession, but in a note on the margin he says, "I know not 
who sent it to me." 



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MEMOIR OP ELIZABETH SETON. 



Him whom no one can have for his Father that has not the 
Catholic Church for his mother} 

Her spiritual Daughters, who hold her memory in 
perpetual benediction, and emulate the example she has 
left them, have caused to be inscribed in her chamber of 
death the following : — 

Here, near this door, by this fire-place, on a poor, lowly 
couch, died our cherished and saintly Mother Seton, on the 
Wi of January, 1821. She died in poverty, but rich in faith 
and good works. May we, her children, walk in her foot- 
steps, and share one day in her happiness. Amen. 

They likewise have erected over -her remains, in 
the wooded and moss-grown grave-yard of St. Joseph's, 
a Gothic tomb, which bears on a tablet set into the exte- 
rior wall these votive words : — 

SACKED TO THE MEMORY 
OP 

E. A. SETON, 

FOVNDRESS. 

1 Habere jam nan potest Deum patrem, qui Ecclesiam rum Tiabet matrem. — D. Cypri- 
ani, De Unitate Ecclesiae. 



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APPENDIX. 



The "Macedonian" is Homeward Bound. — William 

Returns. 

" Pass we the long, unvarying course, the track 

Oft trod, that never leaves a trace behind; 
Pass we the calm, the gale, the change, the tack, 

And each well-known caprice of wave and wind; 

Pass, we the joys and sorrows sailors find, 
Cooped in their winged, sea-girt citadel ; 

The foul, the fair, the contrary, the kind, 
As breezes rise and fall and billows swell, 
Till, on some jocund morn, lo, land — and all is well." 1 

william to elizabeth. 

"Macedonian" off Boston Light, 
June 19th, 1821. 
My beloved Mother, — At last my fondest wishes 
appear on the point of being realized, and happiness, like 
a star from behind the clouds of a dark and stormy 
night, seems breaking on my view. But, alas, the hori- 
zon is not yet clear — and my poor, trembling star, how 
easily overclouded ! You may imagine how anxiously I 
wait your first lines. The last I received from you was 
dated in May, 1820, one year and more back ; and what 
, great changes one year may produce, I fear to think on. 

1 Lines copied by Mr. Brute for William, and illustrated by a very pretty pen-and- 
ink sketch- 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 



Do write quick, and let me know how you are — let me 
know all. Kiss Kitty for me, and remember me to our 
friends at the Mountain. I shall keep my long stories 
until we meet : in fact, I feel too wild to say more. 

Ever your 

William Seton. 

He soon obtained permission to leave his ship and 
hasten down to Maryland, not having yet heard from 
any one a word of his mother's death ; but at the village 
of Emmitsburg, on his way to the Sisterhood, he met Mr. 
Brute, who handed him, with tears that told all, his 
unopened letter of the 19th. In this good priest he 
found the only one on earth who could console. 

MR. BRUTE TO WILLIAM. 

{Mi tite a pen-and-ink sketch : three graves, a cross 
emitting rays, around it the words, " Yet a little while") 

Cher William, — I knew but yesterday, and from 
whom ? Good Sister Rose. And at the very Sisterhood 
your happy last Sunday. 1 Judge the effect in my heart 
— and especially on that spot where I am so seldom that 
I might say better than two or three months that I spoke 
to her in that choir. I came away myself so happy. 
Opposite the lane I was ready to go a moment to the 
little wood, and talk of it with mother. Yet did not. 
Came home ; would speak of it to you 2 — and then would 
not, — better not. At last, just now, reading for to-morrow 

1 Holy communion. 9 He was staying at the collega. 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 295 

this pleasing Gospel she relished so much : " Yet a little 
while, and you shall see me," 1 — I can not help, and your 
heart must receive kindly this one more, — may be now 
for long, — one last poor effusion of my contented one. 
Oh, do persevere. Your God and your eternity before 
all and above all. Your friend of the high seas. 

Turn and keep it. S. Brute. 

The following, which breathes all Mr. Brutes most 
tender and elevated spirit, is what William was requested 
to keep. The first page is ornamented at top, bottom, 
at the sides, and between some of the lines, by appropriate 
pen-and-ink sketches. 

William arrived 
From the seas and shores so far, 
William now comes 
To Eramitsburg: 
The Mountain, 

The Valley, 
Oh, the Valley. 

The road that passes 
Along the little wood, 
The field, the fence, 
The trees 
That cover the graves — 

Five graves — 
But ob, the one grave I 

One grave— 

My mother — 
Her William I— 
Three years ago 
I saw her last ; 
I see, I see her now 1 

My mother, 
Do I not see you ? 

# 1 John zvL 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OP 

9 

Under these trees, 
In that little inclosure: 
My mother ; 
My sister Anna, 
My little Rebecca, 
Cecilia, Henrietta, 
The good angels 
All together there 
Before I went away, 
But now : 
My dear mother. 

No, my mother, 
And all are in heaven. 
I look above ; 
What a sight 1 
Shall I not go 
And meet them 
Faithfully, 
Steadfastly, 
Their good path 
Of love 
And service ? 

My God, 
Now must I love Thee — 
My heart has but Thee. 
Friends too little when I 
Have lost my mother : 
But as if with her heart, 
I love Thee my God, 
Will serve Thee — I will. 

Be good 
Said my Anna, dying — 

My Rebecca too : 
But how does my mother 
Repeat from her grave, 
Ah, did repeat in her heart 
For me, each of her last 
Communions 
To my Saviour : 
Be my WiUiam good/ ♦ 




ELIZABETH SETON. 



297 



I the ten thousand miles from her, 
I never more will see on earth! 
How did her heart cry for me: 
Be good. 

I will, my God 
I will join them all 
In Heaven. 

MR. BRUTE TO JOSEPHINE. 1 



My dear Josephine, — The prayer I send is for you : 
" May the most just, the most high, and the most amiable 
will of God be in all things fulfilled, praised, and exalted 
above all, forever." It was one of her most familiar ones, 
and well-nigh the very last that she repeated while still 
in our midst. 

The picture 2 for William, who can easily keep it as 
a mark in his prayer-book : Our Lord hanging on the 
cross ; our good Mother at the foot ; our common Father 
praying with such respect and resignation: his whole 
heart, ay, and ours too, expressed in his attitude, — the 
spirit of grace : his hope and ours. Pray for us. 

S. Brute. 

1 Original in French. 

* Piua VTL, in exile, kneeling at prayer before a crucifix and a little image of our 
Lady of Sorrow that rests against it — a dove, the " Spirit that abideth forever " in 
the church, sends down upon the venerable pontiff the rays of grace to strengthen, 
console, enlighten. This, and the prayer printed on a slip of paper, used to be kept 
by Elizabeth in one of her books of devotion. 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 



TO THE SAME, FROM MR. BRUTE. 1 



(A little sketch at top of five graves, last with a cross 
at the head. Above them, " Heaven, heaven ! Yet still 
pray for us!") 



Oh, these graves ! Mother — such a mother ! Such 
faith, such love, such spirit of true prayer, of true humil- 
ity, of true self-denial in all, of true charity to all, truest 
charity ! Such a mother ! 0 Josephine, Emily ! 2 such 
Sisters. Annina, Rebecca — such sisters yonder. Mary at 
the Sacred Heart of Poitiers, and younger Elizabeth 
here. I love them still, in your own heart ; but mark 
well, that our love of one another, all, all in this world, is 
all vanity, except it be for God, of God, in God ! ! You 
love yourselves, both so good — Emily and Josephine, 
just only to help one another the better to love and serve 
God, as you pass through this world. Pass, pass, pass, as lit 
tie shadows, — so rapidly ! for, pray, what will be twenty, 
forty years more to live here below, for those who hear, and 
delight to hear, that repeated cry of the altar : Per omnia 
scecula mculorum ? Then so heartily say, Amen ! What for 
two such resolute Christian souls as yours to say at Vespers 
(I recommend it always so much) the admirable Canticle 
of Mary ? Eighteen ages in her immense glory ! Oh, for 
that, then, for eternity ! for God and our eternity. All in 



all!!!! 



1 Original in English. 



* Miss Harper. 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



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1 My dear Josephine, — I beg of you to accept this New 
Testament and the Imitation, as if coming from your good 
mother herself : you will thus be able to change, at times, 
from reading English to reading French. The beautiful 
heavens : they, in truth, are the whole object and the end 
of this life of a few days or a few years on earth ! And, 
indeed, to live for heaven is, at the same time, to lead the 
happiest life upon earth. Is it not so, 0 mother ? Answer 
from your little wood. Pray, now and then, for me. 

S. Brute. 



^Sunday of the Holy Name of Jesus (1821). 
My Josephine, — Giving advice is such a poor thing 
for him who addresses a heart just bleeding from her 
living union to love, and wisdom, and experience itself, in 
their most sacred and persuasive forms. Still, to your 
faith is my right so high ; to your kindness and good 
sense, my intention such a sufficient excuse ; besides, I 
try to speak but from the grave, where all your treasure 
was laid. If I only repeat what yourself are the most 
sensible of, then it can not displease you ; it can but 
strengthen and support the best intentions of your own 
(heart). Now, this my morning thought, very early at 
this table, — that after the first painful time of a parting, 
which is no real separation, or only exterior, and for so 
short a time, compared to the eternity coming on ; after 

1 Original is in French. 

* Original, as all the following, in English. 



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300 MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 

the indisposition which threatened, and, thanks to God, 
has not been so long and severe as it might have proved, 
you begin this week, to employ your time the most use- 
fully that you will see good ; let it be your consolation 
and offering to mother. After the long nursing and that 
sorrow which suspends all powers, occupation is a strange 
thing — without interest at first. Make it a pure offering 
of duty to mother, I said: "Oh, brighten up," she herself 
says. Only think that your good friends, and the young 
ones (particularly) will be but much pleased and edified 
at your courage. And suffer me to carry that same 
advice further on ; I mean even when you find yourself 
amidst the attentions of any other friends, yield not entirely; 
seek to be resolutely employed and diligent, your many 
ways. Nothing looks so endearing and estimable; for, 
while friends think it their duty to be over-kind, and thus 
please themselves in goodness, they are, nevertheless, 
but the more sensible of the duty it leaves the other side, 
in a modest, laborious, and diligent soul. Do I say well? 
Do I say what said mother? I scarcely know, — so 
inexperienced at the things out of my wholly spiritual line, 
that all this may have but your smile and a merciful " My 
father says his best, but all of strange and odd turns 
enough." Well, well, I then put an end, my dear Jose- 
phine, and rely on your visitor, within your own heart, 
reviving continually, that best of inheritances so richly 
laid there by mother : pure, purest intentions in all ; pru- 
dence, humility, self-denial, every best and truest sugges- 
tion of that solid piety and incomparable good sense of 
hers. She tried to leave all to her Josephine. God, our 
God ! Pray for your poor friend, 

S. Brute. 



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ETERNITY. 

One day more, my dear Josephine, — and so near that 
4th. Can I pass the whole day without trying my poor 
little union to your sorrow ? If a priest, and all for spir- 
ituals, is not this a most sacred care to be assumed among 
the heavenly ones, if God gave me grace for it ? or if I 
knew better how to transmit, indeed, to your heart, the 
tender grace of that great Father of orphans, good Friend 
of sufferers, true Father, only Friend ! Oh, my Jose- 
phine, though I write thus with tears, and not the first 
of the day — the first, happily, at the altar, and others 
since receiving back books so well used by mother; 
though I say, dear child, no heart but feels now your 
exceeding pain, yet God, your God, alone will remain 
within your own heart, the true Father and faithful Friend. 
This, our present world : so imperfect and unavailing its 
most precious things of sympathy and love. My own 
old mother, in France, whom, dear child, I will also see 
no more, no more than yours, who was also mine for 
kindness ; my tender mother warned me thus ; and" to 
draw me nearer to God, always told me that He alone 
remains the unabated, faithful Friend. When all the hurry 
of life and business soon carries every one his usual ways 
— alas, may be often these days you see it — when it per- 
mits not, no, not the best of hearts and most willing to 
condole and comfort, to keep indeed much company, offer 
much real, soothing care to the wounded soul ; God alone, 
our good God, my dear child, truly, God alone — at your 
prayer, your reading, or some musing with Him and think- 



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MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF # 



ing of mother ; or, also, taking already, some little work 
in hand — keeps, within, His tender and faithful company 
with you, — speaks, within, of His divine rights and holy 
will, but with so much of love and grace for the poor 
child, — speaks, oh, surely, of your sacred trust to Him, 
above all, — of His providence to the least of His creatures, 
then how much more to His own divine image in our- 
selves ; happy you to have honored it so well by the side 
of your sacred sufferer — so well in her and yourself. 
That side, my Josephine, let us turn wholly that side. 
Do, and settle gently, reasonably, what prudence and 
friends may show best; but feel the whole confidence 
and solace of it, to rest the side of God only. If you 
love Him and submit to Him, blessings will ever be 
abundantly fulfilled. Yes, if you love and submit — two 
words that will be continually coming to you from that 
holy grave, or rather, from beyond — love and embrace in 
all that most high, most amiable Will, as said your mother 
to the last ; that Will so long, and to the last, her all. 
My dear child, if you do, morning and night, and often 
now, the day long, surely blessings will be abundantly 
fulfilled to you, even in that excess of the present grief. 
Will you, my good Josephine, kindly receive this poor, 
mortal father of the soul, as he comes round the bleeding 
heart? It is not, you see, assuming words he otfers ; 
how silent, rather, he would remain ! He does but write 
over and over, or as from the heart of your own mother, 
repeat the only name which is all at once, duty, comfort, 
and hope : God, God, your good God, all in all ! Father, 
Son, and Holy Ghost ; holy, holy, holy saints and angels 
say, and mother : " Though we pray, we hope." Respect- 
fully, my dear Josephine, S. Brute. 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



303 



Take back, if you please, this picture sent to Bee ; 
the sketch when but three — now five (graves) — and these 
two little books of Kempis and Mme. de la Valliere. 

MR. BRUTE TO JOSEPHINE. 

(Pen-and-ink sketch at top, of a grave and cross, under 
a spreading tree, and the date — ithJariy, 1821.) 

My dear Josephine, — Can I show, too often, my desires 
of your salvation ? Ah, when now mother is silent, take, 
sometimes, your psalms, her psalms ! in her Bible, and one 
verse or other. You will find her whole soul still warm 
to her God in yours. But what do I say ! She (is) in 
the better place of love. I only mean to remind her 
Josephine what must have been the impressions, even 
while upon earth, and teach you humbly to seek for the 
same. I was just saying in my office, the 24th : — 

" To thee, 0 Lord, I have lifted up my soul." 

" In thee, 0 my God, I put my trust ; let me not be 
ashamed. Neither let my enemies laugh at me : for none 
of them that wait on thee shall be confounded." 

" Show, 0 Lord, thy ways to me, and teach me thy 
paths." 

" Direct me in thy truth and teach me ; for thou art 
my God, my Saviour, and on thee have I waited all the 
day long." . . . (How she did.) 

" Remember, 0 Lord, thy bowels of compassion, and 
thy mercies that are from the beginning of the world." 

" The sins of my youth and ignorances do not remem- 
ber/' (How humbly did she say.) 



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MEMOIR AND LETTER8 OF 



"According to thy mercy remember thou me, for thy 
goodness sake, 0 Lord." 

" The Lord is sweet and righteous ; therefore he will 
give a law to sinners in the way " — the way ! ! ! 

" He will guide the mild in judgment; he will teach 
the meek his ways." (Therefore be ever meek and hum- 
ble.) 

" All the ways of the Lord are mercy and truth, to 
them that seek after his covenant and his testimonies." 

Let us, then, seek, dear child. Be happy ; be good ; 
be William and Richard good. Help them for it, by the 
most sweet and steady example. Pray for mother. Pray, 
also, for me, w r ho will ever pray for you. 

S. Brute. 

Died on board the brig Oswego, June 26th, on her 
passage from Cape Mesurado to St. Jago, Richard B. 
Seton, Esq., of Baltimore, late United States Assistant 
Agent at Monrovia, aged 26 years, — Boston Paper. 

* 

Mt. St. Mary's, Sunday Evening, 
7th September, 1823. 
My dear William, — Mr. Egan has informed us of the 
fatal news and the extreme affliction in which he left you 
and your good Kitty. Bear, I may almost say, with a few 
lines from your poor Brute. Of consolation he will attempt 
no other but the continual motto of your dear mother : 
"He is all — all in all!" I was yesterday at her grave 
— wished you were. Saw the wildness of the three 
graves — of the five ; then saw heaven — as we should so 



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ELIZABETH 8 ETON. 



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easily, in faith, and told them your heart of old and of 
now. I did, for you both, and me. I spoke to some of 
the Sisters. Mr. Hickey will have done so to all. I saw 
tears — he more. 0 mother ! Friday I said here the mass 
of community for him, speaking a few words to the boys 
and to the young men. I noted what you told me of his kind 
remaining with that unfortunate colony. 1 I said my hope 
of his last fervent remembrances of our Lord, of his 
mother and holy sisters, Rebecca, Anna ; and of his best 
moments for him, near them — and with yourself. Ah ! 
I witness — 0 my God, my God ! To-day I recommended 
him in town — mother ever so loved there. My William, 
bear with a devoted friend, and say, vouchsafe say, to 
your beloved and forever so dear, so truly respected sis- 
ter, what you may for me. Be blessed both. "He is all! 
all in all!" S. Brute. 



TUESDAY OF PENTECOST. 

My dear Josephine, — Too kind and too great an invi- 
tation for that poor savage of the mountains. Yet it 

1 Jehudi Ashmun, who sailed for Africa in 1822, to take charge of a re-enforce- 
ment for the colony of Liberia, says of Richard Seton, in a letter to my aunt, of 
Dec. 28th, 1823, now lying on my desk: — 

" To your dear brother I well may acknowledge my extensive obligations. He 
found me a solitary white man on this secluded coast ; and from a spontaneous 
movement of generous feeling, offered to become my companion. He found me 
depressed with affliction, burdened with cares, and wasted to the weakness of child- 
hood, by half a year's sickness. Too disinterested, alas I he offered to stay and 

supply more than sickness had deprived me of. His open, undisguised 

character, the simplicity of his manners, and the native kindness of his heart, had 
won, perhaps, further on the affections of our black people than any other agent had 
ever done in so short a time. I have heard from them no other objection to Mr. 
Seton, but that he was a white man; the only fault which, with some of them, 
unfortunately, is held unpardonable." 
vol. n.— 20. 



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306 MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 

f 

requires a grateful acknowledgment, which I rather trust 
to one word of it that you will speak for me to Mrs. Caton, 
expressing my lively sense of respect better than 1 would 
succeed in any formal line. You can but know my heart 
for her and Mrs. Harper. But must I not, too, acknowl- 
edge your own kindness in calling for me yesterday ? You 
saw our good president. Better, better still, if William 
had been here too ; truly the two brothers. I the old 
brother of the high-seas — never to forget him or Josephine, 
never. What full conversation oi mother had I yesterday, 
with Mgr. Flaget, with whom I crossed the seas my first 
time — just to be nearly at the very beginning of that val- 
ley, now of such an extensive blessing. 0 mother, mother, 
we said, could she ever have known what, in the secret 
of our dear Lord, was prepared to meet her simple offering 
of herself to His only glory and love, as He would Himself 
see best, only so purely, but the consequences so perfectly 
unforeseen to herself; nay, equally so to those who at first 
could have feared to suggest too much of sacrifice, if, as 
she used to tell me, any thing could be called sacrifice 
for God and for our eternity ! — for God coming for us in 
Bethlehem, dying for us on the cross — for eternity, no less 
than Himself, enjoyed in heaven — face to face — with Mary 
and the saints, forever. All sacrifices were made with 
a heart that God Himself, whose grace accomplished them 
through it, did know, although to those who saw nearest 
that heart so duly felt. Your mother, Josephine, your dear 
mother, why do I try to speak of her to you ? Excuse 
me almost; but dwell also a moment, as I was doing, 
with that good bishop, on the present consequences, far 
and wide ; for from these parts could I not add that it 
prompted and encouraged his own wilds in Kentucky 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



307 



thus to bud and prosper. Monseigneur David 1 went ; 
would have Sisters — had them — all also so beautifully 
blessed them. My dear Josephine, look from your vale 
to New York and every side ; not the hundreds, but now 
far above the thousand of children blessed from heaven — 
I think so already, though we still pray, and must — by 
your mother. Now only my name of all respect and 
affection to you and William. Pray for me. 

S. Brute. 

Do excuse me; I dine at Dr. Chatard's, my old medical 
brother, and so offer only my best respects. 

* 

J. M. J. 

Mount St. Mary's, Qth July, 1831. 
My dear Josephine,— I feel most grateful, my good 
and respected child, for your kind letter of the 18th June, 
little deserving such attention and remembrance, except 
for my constant attachment to Josephine and William, 
which can cease but with life. My presence in Baltimore 
without seeing you, you notice in a friendly manner. I 
remained but two days, busy by the hour and moment, 
doubtful whether going so far, 2 1 would find you — find you 
in the good family that I would have also to see, and 
just as exposed, by being too short at a visit, after years 
of absence, to give you pain. I did not go. But never 
mind ; as the heart was once, to such an excellent daugh- 
ter of such a mother, be sure it remains, and scarcely fears 
that you could doubt it, or be displeased from your own, at 

1 Titular of Mauricastro in part and coadjutor of the Bishop of Bardstown. 
9 She was with her aunt, Mrs. Post, in New York. 



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308 



MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 



my apparent want of proper empressemerit. I may say the 
same for William. I know not whether he received my 
first, directed to Washington, or a second, just before I 
received yours, which, on hearing something most interest- 
ing for him, I could not check my expressing the cordial 
share of his old Brute in it, his otvn way. Confirm to both 
the warm wishes of their happiness I cease not to form, 
and many a time I offered to our Lord for them. What 
remembrance of that distant 1815 your letter brings to 
me, since you are with your respected aunt, so extremely 
kind then to me, who owed it to her love for him with 
whom I could rather feel proud and delighted. 

Indeed, through the whole family it was the same most 
amiable reception, and even when returning alone, invi- 
tations were repeated in the most polite manner. I almost 
dare ask you, as you will see the moment, to renew the 
expressions of such respectful and grateful feelings as 
have ever since remained in my heart — in 1824, in 1815. 
Now, my good child and my William, your poor Brute 
the same to you and all you love and mother loved — all. 

I am glad you saw our good M. Bertrand. I 

have no letter since that fatal July. 1 He never wrote 
without the many lines about mother, Bee, and you. You 
are kind to notice the pain I have felt at the disasters of 
my country, and you heard, it seems, that I was so much 
affected by them. Yet, yet, I would be sorry that your 
old priest miss his proper settling with Grod. But yester- 
day, it was once more one of our most frequent medita- 
tions with the seminarians. The Will — only Will " all in 
all " — all in the general providence of the universe, heaven 

1 Alludes to tho revolution that placed Louis Philipp? on the throne of France. 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



309 



and earth — all in our whole life, indeed, crowded with 
such mercies as to oblige us to boundless habitual confi- 
dence and resignation, and all, all this day, this hour, which 

can be the last But I defer preaching you and 

William (until when you come), you preaching the better 
by all that I ever saw in Josephine since I knew her, and 
of which many an excellent line reminds me so well, in the 
good letter which I answer. Good-bye, excellent child, 
love still — and William, as much as he respects and loves 
you both, 

S. Brute. 

Tou know*how pleased all have been here and at the val- 
ley, at your kind commissions. Perhaps M. Purcell 1 may 
see you or William in New York, for which he set out 
from here. How pleased with what you say of Emily! 9 
Could I ask to be remembered, respectfully? 

Mr. Brut6 was called, in 1834, to greater and more im- 
portant duties, being appointed first bishop of Vincennes, 
with a diocese comprising the whole State of Indiana 
and the eastern half of Illinois. He received the Apos- 
tolic bulls in the month of May, while giving a retreat 
to the Sisters at St. Joseph's, and was consecrated by his 
old friend, Bishop Flaget, at St. Louis, on the 28th of 
October following. It was not given him to exercise the 
fullness of the priesthood long, but during the few years 
that he occupied his see, he was " as the rainbow giving 
light in the bright clouds, and as the flower of roses in 

The present Archbishop of Cincinnati. 

■ Mrs. (William) Seton, daughter of the late Nathaniel Prime, of New York. 



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810 



MEMOIR AND LETTERS OF 



the days of the spring, and as the lilies that are on the 
brink of the water, and as the sweet smelling frankin- 
cense in the time of summer." 

This holy man, whose steps tvere guided by the light of 
God, v? as called to his eternal reward on the 26th of 
June, 1839. 

" Blessed are they that saw thee, and were honored 
with thy friendship." — Ecclesiasticus, xlviii. 2. 

Mount Saint Mary's College, Emmitsburg, Md., 
Feast of the Purification, 1868. 

On Tuesday evening last, in the dim twilight, William 
Set on, son of Mrs. Seton, the sainted foundress of St. 
Joseph's of the Valley, was consigned to his final resting- 
place in the Mountain grave-yard. 

The corpse came by rail from New York, his late resi- 
dence, in charge of his son, William Seton, Esq. It was 
his earnest wish through life and in death, to have his 
remains laid to rest at Mt. St. Mary's, the home of his 
school-boy affections and shrine of his oft-repeated pilgrim- 
ages. Another son had the happiness of offering the 
requiem mass over his honored father's remains, at St. 
Francis Xavier's Church, Sixteenth Street, in the presence 
of the Most Reverend Archbishop McCloskey and a large 
assemblage of the clergy and laity of New York. The 
Right Rev. Dr. Roosevelt Bayley, bishop of Newark, and 
some of his clergy, were also present. 

When the approach of the hearse from Frederick was 
signaled, towards the end of the five o'clock recreation, 
the slow tolling of the passing-bell gathered the boys to 
attend the cortege to the grave-yard. 



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ELIZABETH SETON. 



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Owing to the lateness of the hour, but few of the neigh- 
boring people, and only two of the Community from St. 
Joseph's, Sisters Martha and Bernardine, were present. 
These venerable ladies were among the first of Mother 
Seton's spiritual daughters. The sacred ministers and the 
seminarians, in surplice, met the corpse at the church door, 
and walked in procession to the grave. Not a gust of 
wind stirred the flicker of the candles, as the last prayers 
were said ; a thin veil of snow covered the noble land- 
scape, to the distant mountain-chain that bounds the hori- 
zon; and from the hill-side where we stood, could be 
faintly seen the outlines of the little Gothic chapel, in the 
convent grave-yard, beneath whose pavement Mother 
Seton reposes, still keeping silent watch over the living 
and the dead. 

Letter in Catholic Telegraph, of Cincinnati. 



FINIS. 



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